U of M Study Moves To Silver Bay

By KBJR News 1

September 1, 2010 Updated Sep 1, 2010 at 8:56 AM CDT

In an effort to expand the number of participants the study site is being relocated to Silver Bay.

For Silver Bay residents Karl Jevning and his wife, mining has been a way of life for years.

"We're at our home we're going to be here..in fact we've got a place in our graveyard already," said Jevning.

The Jevnings' were two of the handful of people who turned out for an informational meeting Tuesday evening for a study being done to understand why some steelworkers are prone to contract the lung disease.

Mesothelioma is connected with exposure to asbestos, a material present in the mining operation.

The study began at the Regional Medical Center in Virginia.

"I think we screened over 1,600 people so far. The results we really haven't had a chance to analyze yet, we are still in the data gathering part of the study," said associate professor Jeff Mandel.

New volunteer participants will be tested beginning in September through October 15th in Silver Bay.

Those tests include a lung capacity test, chest xray, and blood sample.
One of the main reasons the study was moved to Silver Bay was to allow a boarder range of test participants.

"We had a number of people indicate to us that they were selected but they weren't able to participate because of the distance to drive to Virginia," said Mandel.

Another benefit of moving the study to Silver Bay is the opportunity to hone in on a study group that is usually hard to come by.

"It also enables us to capture more of the workers who are currently employed. As a group that's always the toughest group to get in these kinds of studies," said Mandel.

Mandel encourages those invited to be part of the study to participate.

"I think it's important to the industry, the people working in the industry, and to the communities to understand where those cancers are coming from," said Mandel.

Results from the testing will be kept confidential.

Study officials say a complete report of test results may not be available until 2015.