BISMARCK — An asbestos-like mineral used on western North Dakota gravel roads can cause changes in workers’ lungs consistent with commercial asbestos exposure that could lead to breathing problems, a study has found.
The erionite investigation did not find an increase in mesothelioma cancer — a serious disease associated with exposure to asbestos-like dust — but the results are inconclusive about whether there is an increased risk, the state Health Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
By Blake Nicholson , The Associated Press
, October 19, 2010
North Dakota’s top rock researcher and the state’s chief fossil finder have spent decades exposed to an asbestos-like mineral found in western North Dakota that is similar to a kind linked to cancer in lab rats and in people in Turkey.
State geologist Ed Murphy and state paleontologist John Hoganson want to know if erionite has caused them health problems, so they volunteered for a government-funded study to find out.
By James MacPherson, The Associated Press
, April 13, 2009
The North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are seeking participants for a study measuring the risk, if any, of breathing dust from gravel containing the fiber erionite.
Erionite is a fibrous mineral with some properties similar to asbestos, but is not regulated as a form of asbestos. Like asbestos, erionite may pose health risks to those who breathe in the fibers.
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