The Roads In North Dakota Are Giving People Cancer

800px-Nd_slope1What do you do when you find out the roads in your town are giving you and your children cancer? Via io9:

In Dunn County, North Dakota, the roads can kill you. In fact, anything you do to disturb rocks in the area, like driving or even sweeping, can kick up naturally-occurring particles that lodge in your body and give you a rare kind of lung cancer up to 30 years later. Dunn County, you see, is home to a lot of rocks containing erionite, an asbestos-like substance that’s highly toxic. Unfortunately, nobody knew that until very recently. And so at least 300 miles of roads in North Dakota are paved with the stuff.

What do you do when you discover that you’ve built your county’s infrastructure out of poison rocks?

So far, nothing is being done. This week, a group of researchers published an article about the problem in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about the dangers in the county’s roads.

[Continues at io9]

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  • Nevin

    What the hell is this about? Is it about North or South Dakota? Maybe you should have the title match what the article is talking about. Makes it less confusing.

    • SF2K01

      Well it says North Dakota now at least. Don’t know how someone could make that mistake.

  • Nevin

    What the hell is this about? Is it about North or South Dakota? Maybe you should have the title match what the article is talking about. Makes it less confusing.

  • Anonymous

    Well it says North Dakota now at least. Don’t know how someone could make that mistake.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not certain what the article would expect them to do. You can’t tear up all the roads because some people are going to get cancer later in life. You’re talking about literally billions that North Dakota most likely doesn’t have. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those risks people are gonna have to take if they live there.

  • SF2K01

    I’m not certain what the article would expect them to do. You can’t tear up all the roads because some people are going to get cancer later in life. You’re talking about literally billions that North Dakota most likely doesn’t have. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those risks people are gonna have to take if they live there.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Ouch! Bummer! This reminds me of the whole Roman aqueducts/lead piping thing. Sounded like a good idea at the time…turns out…not so much. I think its telling that we had no clue what the shit really was or what it did or what it might do…but that didn’t stop us from manufacturing it and making roads out of it.

    I gotta wonder about the childhood some of these manufacturers/engineers etc had. My parents had a million ways to say “Don’t you touch that!” It was always “You don’t know what that is…so leave it the &*%# alone!” A lifetime of that eventually rubbed off (after some notable disasters that kind of drove home the fact that my parents were right about the principle in general).

    But apparently some people never experienced this kind of warning from anyone in their lives. How are they still alive??? Clearly they managed not to drink sulfuric acid on a dare or juggle buckets of open gasoline AND a lit torch at the same time…but apparently if shit doesn’t kill them instantly and spectacularly…it must be safe…no need to look a little further. F*ckin’ puzzling, man!  

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Ouch! Bummer! This reminds me of the whole Roman aqueducts/lead piping thing. Sounded like a good idea at the time…turns out…not so much. I think its telling that we had no clue what the shit really was or what it did or what it might do…but that didn’t stop us from manufacturing it and making roads out of it.

    I gotta wonder about the childhood some of these manufacturers/engineers etc had. My parents had a million ways to say “Don’t you touch that!” It was always “You don’t know what that is…so leave it the &*%# alone!” A lifetime of that eventually rubbed off (after some notable disasters that kind of drove home the fact that my parents were right about the principle in general).

    But apparently some people never experienced this kind of warning from anyone in their lives. How are they still alive??? Clearly they managed not to drink sulfuric acid on a dare or juggle buckets of open gasoline AND a lit torch at the same time…but apparently if shit doesn’t kill them instantly and spectacularly…it must be safe…no need to look a little further. F*ckin’ puzzling, man!  

    • SF2K01

      To be fair, while the Roman aqueducts were made from lead, scholars now believe that it didn’t contribute in any significant way to the downfall of Rome (and they were aware of the general concept of lead poisoning). A much bigger problem was lead cooking utensils and pots. In certain ways, I think that it’s exactly the same, there’s a slight issue in the lead pipes that they were mildly poisonous over long term exposure, but overall it’s not a huge problem especially given the much worse exposure from all around their environment to everything else.

  • Anonymous

    This is like a modern version of “Enemy of the People”

  • JoiquimCouteau

    This is like a modern version of “Enemy of the People”

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, while the Roman aqueducts were made from lead, scholars now believe that it didn’t contribute in any significant way to the downfall of Rome (and they were aware of the general concept of lead poisoning). A much bigger problem was lead cooking utensils and pots. In certain ways, I think that it’s exactly the same, there’s a slight issue in the lead pipes that they were mildly poisonous over long term exposure, but overall it’s not a huge problem especially given the much worse exposure from all around their environment to everything else.

  • Poppies

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Poppies

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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