Mesothelioma and other lung disease in taconite miners; the uncertain role of non-asbestiform EMP

Jeffrey H. Mandel, Nnaemeka U. Odo

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to assess the role of non-asbestiform amphibole EMPs in the etiology of mesotheliomas and other lung disease in taconite (iron ore) miners. Increased mesothelioma rates have been described in Minnesota taconite workers since the late 1990s. Currently, over 100 cases have been reported by the Minnesota Department of Health within the complete cohort of miners in Minnesota. Geologic sampling has indicated that only the eastern part of the iron range contains non-asbestiform amphibole elongate mineral particles (EMPs), in close proximity to the ore. This type of EMP has been less studied and also exists in talc and gold mining. A series of investigations into the state's taconite industry have been recently completed. Results from a cohort mortality study indicated an SMR of 2.77 (95% CI = 1.87–3.96) for mesothelioma. In a case-control study, the odds ratio for mesothelioma for high vs. low EMP exposure was 2.25 (5% CI = 1.13–4.5) but EMPs in this study were counted by phase contrast microscopy. Odds ratios were not elevated in mines located in the eastern part of the Mesabi iron range. The overall findings suggest that mesothelioma in taconite miners is related to EMP exposure. Because of the way EMPs were counted, results from these studies cannot allow a firm conclusion about the association between EMP exposure and the reported excess mesothelioma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Volume361
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the State of Minnesota (Project Grant No. 1806-11173-20080). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the State of Minnesota.

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the State of Minnesota (Project Grant No. 1806-11173-20080 ). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the State of Minnesota.

Funding Information:
The data for this paper were the result of several projects that were funded by the State of Minnesota. The opinions expressed in the manuscript belong to the authors and do not reflect the State of Minnesota. No other third party financial support was used for this paper or for the original research that was used to generate this paper. JHM has received funding from the U.S. Sand and Gravel Association for an unrelated feasibility project. Other resources that were used in the same topic matter, but which did not influence opinions in this paper, were obtained by a separate federal grant ( NIOSH RO1 OH010418 ). JHM has presented data from the submitted paper at the Monticello Conference, October 2017. There are no patents or other copyrights planned for the submitted work.

Funding Information:
The data for this paper were the result of several projects that were funded by the State of Minnesota. The opinions expressed in the manuscript belong to the authors and do not reflect the State of Minnesota. No other third party financial support was used for this paper or for the original research that was used to generate this paper. JHM has received funding from the U.S. Sand and Gravel Association for an unrelated feasibility project. Other resources that were used in the same topic matter, but which did not influence opinions in this paper, were obtained by a separate federal grant (NIOSH RO1 OH010418). JHM has presented data from the submitted paper at the Monticello Conference, October 2017. There are no patents or other copyrights planned for the submitted work.This work was funded by the State of Minnesota (Project Grant No. 1806-11173-20080). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the State of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Case-Control Study
  • Epidemiology
  • Mesothelioma
  • Mortality
  • Odds Ratio
  • Taconite

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