According to information presented at the 2010 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in
Thoracic Oncology, people who have been exposed to an organic mineral called erionite
found in over 300 miles of North Dakota road have a significantly increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a malignant form of lung cancer that develops from the protective lining of organs and is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Like asbestos exposure, the erionite found in the pavement of North Dakota roads can cause malignant mesothelioma by simply inhaling small fibers of the mineral.
Erionite deposits are also present in California, South Dakota, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada. It is an organic mineral whose chemistry has become altered by weather and ground water. It is usually white or clear and may look like translucent grass blades.
“State and Counties Discuss Erionite Risk” by Christopher Bjorke
The Bismark Tribune, December 10, 2010
“Erionite Exposure in North Dakota is Comparable to That Found in Turkish Villages Which Experience a High Incidence of Mesothelioma” by Michele Carbone (primary)
American Society for Radiation Oncology, December 4, 2010
Student Researcher: Jourdan McPhetridge, SF State University
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows. SF State University