Other Asbestos Diseases
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports over ten thousand Americans die each year as a result of asbestos exposure. EWG highlights this epidemic:
The highly politicized controversy in Washington over asbestos litigation has overshadowed a quiet and directly related crisis in public health: an epidemic of asbestos-caused diseases in the United States that claims the life of one out of every 125 American men who die over the age of 50.
Ten thousand Americans die each year — a rate approaching 30 deaths per day — from diseases caused by asbestos, according to a detailed analysis of government mortality records and epidemiological studies by the EWG Action Fund. Asbestos kills thousands more people than skin cancer each year, and nearly the number that are slain in assaults with firearms. The suite of diseases linked to asbestos exposure overwhelmingly affect older men.
Mesothelioma is not the only killer. Based on government reports EWG found the following asbestos caused illnesses resulting in death:
- Mesothelioma 2,509 deaths
- Asbestosis 1,398 deaths
- Lung Cancer 4,800 deaths
- Gastro-intestinal cancer 1,200 deaths
- Total 9,907 deaths
EWG’s findings only get more disturbing:
…[D]deaths from asbestos in the United States appear to be increasing. Mesothelioma and asbestosis mortality rose steadily from 1979 through 1998. Asbestosis mortality, however, rose at more than three times the rate of mesothelioma, at 7.8 percent per year, compared to 2.3 percent annually for mesothelioma over the 24-year period 1979-2001.
Exposure to Asbestos peaked in the mid to late 1970’s. Based on the latency period for asbestos illnesses to develop EWG believes the mortality rate will increase for the next ten years and peak in by 2014 when "there will be 3,776 deaths from mesothelioma and 2,536 deaths from asbestosis reported to the federal government."