Friday, October 7, 2011

Health concerns grow over little-known mineral

I thought this was
 important to share as
I live by an old volcano---
By Myron Levin,
Mesothelioma, an exceedingly rare and
lethal form of cancer, was once thought
 to be caused only by inhaling asbestos
fibers.  Then in the late 1970s, when
 astonishing rates of the disease were
reported among villagers in central
Turkey, studies determined that a
different fibrous mineral was the culprit.
 ERIONITE was abundant in native soil
 and stone, and so easy to work with
that villagers had used it to build
homes.  In the most devastated
 communities, known locally as “cancer villages,” mesothelioma rates were off
 the charts--responsible for 40 percent
 to 50 percent of all deaths. Animal
 studies showed erionite to be 100 to
 800 times more carcinogenic than
asbestos and, according to a scientific
 paper, “almost certainly the most toxic naturally occurring fibrous mineral
known.”  In the U.S., medical journals
and  news stories presented the Turkish
epidemic as a gruesome, but distant, catastrophe.  They largely omitted a key
 fact: Erionite deposits are present
scores of sites in at least a dozen
 western U.S. states. To read the rest of
 this interesting story please click HERE

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