Statistical Information About Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

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Asbestos Exposure, Mesothelioma, and Recent Statistics

We know a lot about mesothelioma. We know what causes it, how many people are diagnosed each year, how long the disease takes to develop, and what the prognosis typically is. But it is what we do not know that really matters. We do not know how to cure it and we do not know why companies continued to allow workers to be exposed to the cause of this deadly disease long after the danger was known. When you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, our attorneys will fight these unknowns on your behalf. We will help you get the best possible medical care and treatment and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve to pay for it all and support your family.

Learn All You Can to Arm Yourself for Battle

Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the delicate lining—called the mesothelium—of certain vital organs. The most common form of the disease affects the lining of the lungs and is known as pleural mesothelioma, but the cancer can also affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) or the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has fire- and heat-resistant properties. It was used for decades in hundreds of products, including insulation, construction materials, household products, art supplies, protective clothing, and more. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the mesothelium and eventually cause cancer. Workers who have been exposed include those who mined or manufactured products using asbestos, those who used products—such as roofing tiles and automotive parts—to manufacture other products, those who work in environments containing asbestos, and family members of exposed workers.

The Numbers

There is very little good news about mesothelioma, but fortunately, it is a relatively rare disease. Of the estimated 11 million people who experienced heavy, prolonged exposure to asbestos in the U.S. between 1940 and 1978, only about 2 to 10 percent will develop the most common form of mesothelioma—pleural mesothelioma. What this means in real numbers is that each year, there are between 2,000 and 3,000 new diagnoses of mesothelioma in the U.S. and approximately 14,000 people die from the disease.

There is a very long latency period—the time between exposure to asbestos and the development of the disease—for mesothelioma. While the disease can develop in as few as 20 years, it is typically longer than that. For men, the average time between exposure and diagnosis is 47.9 years and for women, it is 53.3 years. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70 and men are four times more likely to develop the disease than women. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is always fatal and the typical patient only lives an average of 18 months after diagnosis.

Many people believe that the risks posed by asbestos are a thing of the past, but they are wrong. Consider these shocking facts:

  • Due to the long latency period, people being diagnosed today would have been exposed to asbestos as long ago as 1968.
  • Mining for asbestos in the U.S. did not end until 2002.
  • The U.S. has not banned the use of asbestos.
  • In 2016, the U.S. imported more than 340 tons of asbestos.
  • Asbestos can be released when older buildings are destroyed by storms or demolished by workers.
  • Recently, workers in the telecom industry were exposed when removing old cables from protective pipes and replacing them with fiber optic cables.
  • Asbestos is still used in automotive parts, construction materials, fireproof clothing, and even potting soil.

We do not share these facts and statistics to scare you, but we do believe that everyone should understand their risks. 

If you worked in shipbuilding, automotive assembly, construction, cement production, textile production, a power plant, or served in the military, between 1940 and 1978, you are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Sadly, family members of these workers are also at increased risk, since asbestos fibers were often brought home on clothing.

The following states currently have the highest rates of mesothelioma diagnosis:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Contact Our Mesothelioma Attorneys

Neblett, Beard & Arsenault represents mesothelioma victims throughout the country and can assist you immediately.

We will handle all of the critical details, including access to Social Security disability benefits on an expedited basis. Our goal is to help you navigate the legal system and protect your right to fair compensation.

Contact us at (318) 561-2500 today to schedule a consultation and request a download of our free book, Understanding Your Rights After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis.

Richard J. Arsenault
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Recognized by several legal associations, Richard Arsenault has vast experience in complex litigation cases.