Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health have recently discovered 21 new cases of malignant mesothelioma among workers in the state’s Iron Range. The affected individuals were taconite workers in the region, located in the northeastern part of Minnesota.
Researchers made the discovery while conducting a study of over 69,000 iron ore mine workers. State health officials and University of Minnesota researchers’ findings now bring the total to 101 confirmed cases. Only three men are still alive.
The study, which analyzes workers employed before 1982, has found the following:
Mesothelioma rates among iron mine workers was 2.4 times higher than the general population
Iron ore workers also displayed signs of other respiratory diseases, including lung cancer
Researchers suspect taconite may be a factor in mesothelioma diagnoses
State health officials commissioned University researchers to help conduct the study after people throughout the state publicly shared their stories of mesothelioma and lung disease among former iron workers. According to officials, new cases of mesothelioma highlight the long latency period between asbestos exposure and a diagnosis – which can take as long as 20-60 years.
At the Nemeroff Law Firm, we routinely represent individuals and families who were exposed to asbestos as part of their occupations. If you have questions about mesothelioma, your rights, and how our legal team may be able to help you recover compensation, contact our legal team for a free case review.