Health officials and politicians will meet this afternoon for an update on research into the cause of lung disease among iron ore miners.
In April, the legislature allocated nearly $5 million to study various aspects of the complicated question of why men in northeastern Minnesota are getting mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos, at twice the expected rate.
The University of Minnesota School of Public Health is assessing the health of active and retired miners, reviewing death certificates, and delving into the 58 deaths from mesothelioma.
The Natural Resources Research Institute is analyzing iron ore samples and dust in the air in Iron Range communities, to see how closely they match asbestos dust.
The studies could take up to five years to complete.