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UMinn study on taconite mines and cancer revealed

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. (AP) — University of Minnesota researchers will travel to the Iron Range to share their findings of a lengthy study into possible links between asbestos exposure in taconite mines and a rare cancer that has taken the lives of 82 miners in recent years.

The nearly $5 million study, which began five years ago, has focused on whether exposure to dust in the mines and processing plants makes workers more susceptible to mesothelioma (meh-soh-thee-lee-OH'-muh) and other respiratory diseases.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. In the most recent update, researchers revealed that the study confirmed a 300 percent higher rate of mesothelioma on the Iron Range than the general population in Minnesota.

The meeting Friday is at the community center in Mountain Iron.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.