Mesothelioma Cases: Increased Mesothelioma Mortality Rate in Recent Years


A new report released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the annual number of deaths from malignant mesothelioma increased nearly 5 percent from 1999 to 2015. In that period, a total of 45,221 deaths with malignant mesothelioma as the primary or contributing cause of death were reported in the United States. That includes an increase from 2,479 deaths in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015. Deaths increased despite continual regulatory measures to reduce asbestos exposure.

Hazardous occupational exposures to asbestos fibers have occurred in a variety of industrial operations, including mining, milling, manufacturing, shipbuilding, and construction. Current exposures to asbestos in the United States occur predominantly during maintenance work and demolition and remediation of older buildings containing asbestos.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.


What is Mesothelioma?

According to the CDC, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, significant exposure to any type of asbestos for any duration increases the risk of mesothelioma. Around 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

The disease, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs, is particularly fatal. Patients have a median survival of approximately one year from the time of diagnosis. The latency period from first exposure to mesothelioma development typically ranges from 20 to 40 years, but has been known to lay dormant for as long as 70 years.


Who is at Highest Mesothelioma Risk?

Malignant mesothelioma is primarily associated with occupational inhalation exposure to asbestos fibers. Most cases of mesothelioma occur in older individuals with a history of occupational exposure. Only about six percent of deaths were in people younger than 55.

According to the National Cancer Institute, factors associated with asbestos-related disease include:

  • Dose (how much asbestos was inhaled or ingested)
  • Duration (how long an individual was exposed)
  • Chemical makeup of the asbestos fibers inhaled
  • Source and environment of the exposure
  • Individual risk factors, such as smoking and pre-existing lung conditions

Occupational Hazards Lead to Highest Mesothelioma Cancer Rates

Shipbuilding and construction industries are the top contributors to malignant mesothelioma deaths. The number of deaths among workers is consistent with large number of construction workers with prior direct and indirect exposure to asbestos fibers through most of the last century. Much of the direct exposure to asbestos has occurred during installation of asbestos-cement pipes, asbestos-cement sheets, architectural panels, and roofing tiles.
Industry and occupation data were available for nearly all of the malignant mesothelioma deaths that occurred in residents of 23 monitored states. By industry, the most hazardous industries were found in the following:

By occupation, the highest occupational occurrences were reported for the following:

Asbestos Exposure Persists in Several Workplaces

Most deaths from malignant mesothelioma in the United States are the result of exposures to asbestos decades prior. However, the continuing occurrence of mesothelioma deaths among persons under the age of 55 suggests ongoing occupational and environmental exposures to asbestos fibers, despite years of action by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aimed at limiting asbestos exposure for much of the last 40 years.

Although inspection data for the last 30 years indicated a general decline in occupational exposure, 20 percent of air samples collected in the construction industry in 2003 exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit.


New Mesothelioma Deaths Surpass Prior Professional Projections

Based on asbestos consumption and mesothelioma data, it was estimated that the number of mesothelioma cases among males would peak from 2000–2004 (approximately 2,000 cases) and after that period, the number of mesothelioma cases was expected to steadily decline. In contrast, the results of the current study indicate an increase in the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths during 1999–2015.


Mesothelioma Cases: Compensation for Victims

Despite regulatory actions and the decline in use of asbestos, the annual number of mesothelioma deaths remains substantial. The annual number of malignant mesothelioma deaths is increasing, particularly among persons over 85 years old, most likely representing exposure many years ago. The continuing occurrence of mesothelioma deaths underscores the need for increasing asbestos exposure prevention and to press corporate contributors by taking legal action.

Ohio GM Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered an asbestos-related illness, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm  at(800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.