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Study Looks into Possible Cancer Link with Asbestos

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Neighbors of two processing plants that made products containing asbestos were about 50 percent more likely to get lung cancer than residents living elsewhere in Utah, a new study indicated.

The Utah Department of Health study identified about 70,000 people who lived in a 2-mile radius of the plants and traced their cancer incidence over 28 years. The study looked at data from the U.S. census and the Utah Cancer Registry.

Epidemiologist Wayne Balls says the number of respiratory cancer cases in the area was significantly higher. But, he says, the number of cases of a specific cancer directly related to asbestos were lower.

The plants on the city's southwest side closed in the 1980s. One facility made a popular insulation and the other a soil additive.

Data for the people most at risk -- the workers at the plants -- was not available.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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