Minnesota meso funding moving in Senate

26 Mar 2008 by under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

The Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minn., reported yesterday that a Minnesota Senate committee is backing the proposed $4.7 million to be designated for mesothelioma research. The rare cancer has been reported in an unusually high number of cases in northeastern Minnesota, in association with a taconite mine.

The state Health Department in Minnesota has documented close to 60 deaths from mesothelioma in the Iron Range mining area.

According to the story published by The Globe, “The dean of the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health [Professor John Finnegan, Jr.] is calling it ‘the best shot we’ve had in 25 years’ to find answers about a lung cancer that might be connected to mining taconite.”

If approved by the Minnesota legislature, the money would fund a combined study led by the University of Minnesota and including state health, natural resources and pollution control officials. The study would take about five years to conclude.

The Globe reports that the Senate bill has at least one more committee stop, and a House plan is also progressing. It says the plan faces some opposition from the business lobby, which is taking issue with the reliance on a workers compensation fund to pay for the research.

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