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Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers
Individuals who have lived for long periods in North Dakota may benefit from lung cancer testing. A new study has linked a mineral commonly used in the state's roadway to a significant increase in the risk of developing mesolthelioma.
Erionite is a naturally occurring mineral that has similar properties to asbestos. Studies from other areas of the world have shown that it can be harmful when inhaled, but most believed that it was never used in the U.S.
However, the researchers found that more than 300 miles of roads in North Dakota have been paved with a substance containing the mineral. This may put both workers who laid the pavement as well as residents driving and living around these streets at an elevated lung cancer risk. Furthermore, after studying the health impact of the mineral, researchers concluded that it increases cancer similarly to asbestos.
"Based on the results of our study and considering the known latency period for lung disease, there is concern for increased risk of mesothelioma for exposed residents in North Dakota," said Michele Carbone, the University of Hawaii Cancer Center researcher who led the study.
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