Opponents of a proposed Wisconsin iron ore mine may have more cause for concern now that a second scientist has confirmed the presence of asbestos fibers in rock samples from the site.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Lawrence University geologist Marcia Bjornerud has inspected the samples and says that it’s not a question of whether asbestos-form grunerite is there: It is there.
Mining company Gogebic Taconite (G-Tac) is seeking state approval for a $1.5 billion open pit iron ore mine in Wisconsin’s Penokee Mountains. Opponents of the project argue that mining activities could potentially release asbestos fibers into the air and put workers and nearby residents at risk of exposure.
Asbestos is a toxic substance that can cause cancer and other serious diseases. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer that affects the thin membranes lining organs in the chest and abdomen. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure.
In October, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said that asbestos fibers were found in a sample collected at the mine site by a state geologist. However, G-Tac has insisted that it could put safeguards in place so the area could still be mined without harm to workers or the public. The company and the DNR are now in talks to work out other environmental issues related to its mining application.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.