A study published in the newest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences medical journal has found that at least 12 states contain deposits of an asbestos-like fiber than may cause mesothelioma and has been ravaging villages in Turkey for years now.
Focusing primarily on Dunn County, North Dakota, researchers have found that more than 300 miles of road could have been paved with rocks that contain erionite, a material that is similar to asbestos and has been found to cause mesothelioma. The study, published in the July 25 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that similar deposits of erionite exist in at least 11 other U.S. states.
Unlike asbestos, which is still legal in the United States but has had limitations placed upon its usage, there are currently no constraints on how erionite can be used in products that the public may be exposed to on a regular basis.
Dr. Michele Carbone, the director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, had previously done studies on erionite, specifically regarding the deadly effects its usage has had in many Turkish towns where increased rates of mesothelioma were reported. She found that some airborne erionite concentrations in North Dakota ”equaled or exceeded concentrations in [Boyali, Turkey] where 6.25 percent of all deaths are caused by [malignant mesothelioma.]”.
“Based on the similarity between the erionite from the two sources, there is concern for increased risk of mesothelioma in North Dakota,” she added, according to Science Daily.
Hopefully, studies like this will help to further research into erionite and impose restrictions on the material before it becomes as much of a danger to the public as asbestos has become.
Mesothelioma and asbestosis are both deadly illnesses that are caused primarily by prolonged exposure to inhalable fibers such as asbestos. If you were exposed to asbestos while working for a company and have since developed one of these illnesses, it may be worth pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit that could potentially result in a substantial asbestos settlement.
If you think that a mesothelioma attorney could help prove that your illness was caused by a specific entity’s negligence, please contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation.