A meeting has taken place this week following the news that fifty two miners that were working at the Iron Range in Minnesota had developed the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma. Whilst this form of cancer is linked to exposure to asbestos reports claim that there was no known asbestos in the iron ore deposit.
The meeting that was planned was designed to try and determine why there was such as high rate of mesothelioma amongst the Iron Range workers, and also to plan a major study into the lung health of workers, with x-rays and blood tests as well as breathing tests to be arranged over the summer.
The studies that will be carried out on the miners will try and determine whether they were ever exposed to asbestos before starting work at the Iron Range. The taconite dust from the mines has been blamed for the illness by some of the miners according to reports.
However, there has been no evidence to support the claim that mesothelioma could be caused by taconite or any other airborne particles other than asbestos. Mine officials are now keen to find out whether there could be any links.