"Study: Mineral on ND Roads Can Affect Lungs"

"BISMARCK, N.D. -- An asbestos-like mineral used on western North Dakota gravel roads can cause changes in workers' lungs consistent with commercial asbestos exposure that could lead to breathing problems, a study has found.

The erionite investigation did not find an increase in mesothelioma cancer — a serious disease associated with exposure to asbestos-like dust — but the results are inconclusive about whether there is an increased risk, the state Health Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

Scientists in Turkey have linked the fibrous erionite to mesothelioma. Officials said the western North Dakota tests are inconclusive on that cancer because the population is small and there is still the possibility cases could develop in the future."

Blake Nicholson reports for the Associated Press/Crookston Daily Times October 19, 2010.

Source: AP, 10/21/2010