Regarding the high number of mesothelioma deaths in northeastern Minnesota (3 to 4 times the national average), the Vermillion and Mesabi mining ranges were among the first big mining ranges famous for their large deposits of iron ore. In these mining pits, a large amount of taconite was also mined, which contained iron. Taconite is compared with asbestos because of similarities in chemical makeup. Taconite products are commonly distributed - not just in the Mesabi and Vermillion ranges – but also around the surrounding Great Lakes Region. These products have been linked to the increased number of mesothelioma diagnoses in this area. Unfortunately, mesothelioma can take many years to develop. So, anyone who worked in the mines or was exposed to products made from these materials is at risk of developing mesothelioma.
More information can be found at the Mesothelioma Guide: