Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis’

Minnesota mesothelioma study to begin testing taconite miners

28 Jul 2009 by under News, Research/Treatment

minnesota iron range 100x100 Minnesota mesothelioma study to begin testing taconite minersLast year, we reported on the establishment of a mesothelioma research project in , which is examining the possible link between mining and mesothelioma. The five-year research program received $4.9 million in funding from the state legislature in April 2008, and is being directed by the University of in partnership with the Department of Health.

This week, university researchers announced they are ready to begin recruiting current and former taconite workers on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and their spouses, to participate in a screening program.

Preliminary research actually began in Summer 2007, but got a boost from the legislature’s funding, allowing the study to expand significantly. The funding established the Minnesota Taconite Workers Lung Health Partnership task force.

There are four health studies associated with the project:

  • a motality study under the direction of the Minnesota Department of Health related to miner deaths
  • a cancer rate incidence study
  • a respiratory health assessment for miners or former miners
  • an occupational exposure study

According to an update in the Star Tribune, which serves the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, “since last year, researchers have been collecting data they need to determine why Iron Range miners die from mesothelioma at higher rates than others.”

Researchers hope to recruit around 1,200 current and retired workers for the new screenings, plus about 800 of their spouses.

Mesothelioma has been linked exclusively to asbestos exposure, so this study seeks to determine what similarities may exist in the taconite mining industry and the taconite mineral that produce high incidences of mesothelioma among its workers.

Minnesota loses ‘Mr. Positive’ to meso

16 Feb 2009 by under News, People

dennis newinski Minnesota loses Mr. Positive to mesoA former Minnesota state legislator dubbed “Mr. Positive” by those who knew him because of his can-do attitude has passed away due to mesothelioma. served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He made a bid for U.S. Congress in 1994, but was defeated, ironically, by Bruce Vento, who also passed away due to mesothelioma, in 2000.

Remembered as a man of strong faith, Newinski spent the past two years, while battling mesothelioma, speaking about his faith and explaining how it brought him peace in the face of such a dire diagnosis, according to a story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

Despite three missed attempts at a U.S. House of Representatives spot, the Republican was well-respected nationally, and was invited to give the invocation at the State Republican Convention in 2008, as well as serving as an alternate delegate for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Newinski died last Tuesday, Feb. 10, at age 64. He made his home in Maplewood, Minn., and is survived by his wife, Sharie, two sons, Greg and Mark, two daughters, Julie Keenan and Cindy Nybakke, as well as five brothers and nine grandchildren.

Minnesota researchers ‘making progress’ in mesothelioma study

19 Dec 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

Researchers studying an unusually high incidence of mesothelioma among Iron Range miners and their families reported they are “making progress” as five-year program gets underway, according to the Star Tribune, which serves and St. Paul. The $4.9 million research program was funded by the Minnesota state legislature in April.

The program is being directed by the University of Minnesota. Researchers held an open meeting yesterday evening to share initial results. The program, which involves health screenings for residents of the Iron Range, particularly mine workers and their families, began in Summer 2007, but got a boost when the legislature approved the funding to expand the study significantly. The funding established the Minnesota Taconite Workers Lung Health Partnership task force.

The Star Tribune reports that the program will expand in 2009 to include a respiratory health assessment of 1,200 active and retired miners, as well as 800 spouses or partners. Participants will be selected at random. Physical testing will be handled by the Virginia Regional Medical Center, and testing is exected to run for a period of about 6-9 months.

While mesothelioma is almost exclusively associated with asbestos, researchers are investigating whether or not there is a link between taconite dust – which is produced in the Iron Range mining process – and mesothelioma. To date 58 mesothelioma deaths have been linked to the Iron Range.

According to the Star Tribune report, there are four ongoing health studies associated with this project: a mortality study under the direction of the Minnesota Department of Health related to miner deaths; a cancer rate incidence study; a respiratory health assessment for miners or former miners; and an occupational exposure study. In addition, the paper reports two environmental studies are part of the process as well, under the direction of the Natural Resources and Research Institute the University of Minnesota Duluth. These will examine sediments in lake bottoms as well as airborne particle measurements.

Minnesota gets Meso research funding

6 Mar 2008 by under News, Organizations, People, Research/Treatment

A story in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal yesterday announced the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics will distribute nearly $6 million to seven research teams. Among the research projects that will benefit from the funding is a study.

The group is a partnership between the University of Minnesota, and the State of Minnesota. Mark Paller is the partnership’s program director at the University of Minnesota. He said that projects were selected by a panel of national experts, who considered the potential for commercialization of the research.

Other topics for study covered by the grant are heart disease, infection prevention and epilepsy.