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The health department suppressed information about significant health issue.

The Star Tribune reported on June 19th that the Minnesota Health Department held back information from research about Mesothelioma cancers that infected 35 more miners than 17 that had already been reported on.

The article can be found at:
http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1250516.html

In March 2006, a research uncovered that a deadly asbestos-related cancers affected 35 more Iron Range miners than what the department had known about. The information was withheld for a year. Now that the department has decided to report the information, criticism and issues about the delay are arising.

The health department webpage is:
http://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases.html

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer, “of the membranes lining the chest, abdominal cavities, or heart�, that only occurs in about 1 percent of all cancer cases. The cause of the cancer is related closely to high asbestos exposures. The cancer may not occur until years after exposure to the asbestos and usually spread through the body after beginning in the membrane lining of lungs.

The information about mesothelioma was found on the Mayo Clinic websites:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mesothelioma/DS00779/DSECTION=4

and

http://www.mayoclinic.org/mesothelioma/

Although department officials are saying that the reason for the delay was to further research on the asbestos related cases, scientists and the United Steelworkers are criticizing the department for suppressing the information from the public.

For more information about the United Steelworkers:
http://www.uswa.org/uswa/program/content/index.php


*Note: This blog was edited on 11:13AM on June 22nd, 2007 to add links to websites listed in the entry.