This is primary a public health study on the incidence of mesothelioma in northeastern Minnesota. Its value lies in pointing out human health impacts of mining, and of dumping taconite tailings into the Duluth harbor on the City's drinking water. In both cases asbestos fibers are implicated. Key points linking water resources and human health are extracted and reproduced below. "There is a long history of community concern about a possible link between the mining industry in northeastern Minnesota and the occurrence of cancers and respiratory diseases in that part of the state. In 1973, asbestos-like fibers were found in the Duluth water supply and traced to tailings that had been disposed of in Lake Superior by the Reserve Mining Company. This finding, along with litigation surrounding Reserve's disposal of tailings, prompted studies of the fibers, the effects of ingestion of the fibers, and the morbidity and mortality of iron ore miners, among many other studies. In addition, the Tri-County cancer survey was established by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to monitor cancer rates in northeastern Minnesota. Because of the history of health concerns about mining and the large numbers of people historically employed in iron mining in these counties, the possible relationship between employment in the mining industry and mesothelioma was the primary focus of this study. It was recognized at the outset, however, that at least one other industry unique to northeastern Minnesota significantly contributed to the mesothelioma excess. The former Conwed Corporation plant in Carlton County employed over 5,000 workers between 1958 and 1974, during which time large quantities of commercial asbestos were used in the manufacturing of mineral board and ceiling tile."
Minnesota Department of Health; Brunner, Wendy; Williams, Allan N; Bender, Alan P.
Exposures to Commercial Asbestos In Northeastern Minnesota Iron Miners who Developed Mesothelioma.
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