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UA finds tailings have troubling tiny particles

Tags: asthma, university of arizona

[Source: Arizona Daily Star] - The tailings at Asarco's Mission Mine near Sahuarita and Green Valley contain no more heavy metals than the surrounding desert.

But the tailings contain many more small particles than found in natural dust - particles that can lodge in lungs, aggravate existing respiratory problems and could even force asthmatics to the emergency room, University of Arizona researchers say.

These findings are spelled out in early results of a $14 million, five-year study of the health effects of mine tailings being conducted by UA. The federally financed study, run by UA's Superfund Research Program, got started this year.

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