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Contributing Data for Study of Road Gravel Containing Erionite

North Dakota Statewide Cancer Registry

Based on concerns about the possibility of erionite gravel used on roads, the North Dakota Department of Health's Environmental Health Section contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help investigate this matter. Preliminary tests showed the asbestos-like mineral was linked to serious health risks.

Cancer data relating to mesothelioma were requested from the North Dakota Statewide Cancer Registry (NDSCR) for the whole state by county. Data for 1997 through 2007 were pulled using the mesothelioma histology codes. Several cases with primary site code discrepancies were corrected. The North Dakota Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Office was involved in all procedures.

A CDC epidemiologist working with the EPA reviewed the data and found no cases of mesothelioma in the counties of concern. The NDSCR will continue to observe cancer data from this area to see if any cases of mesothelioma are reported later, since mesothelioma takes about 30 years to develop after exposure.

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