A recent analysis report performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) indicates that more people are dying from asbestos-related diseases than ever before. Although the exact amount of asbestos-related deaths is still unknown, the study indicates that up to 15,000 people die each year, an alarming increase from previous statistics.
The EWG Action Fund studied the death records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) asbestos-related fatality records that include deaths from 1999 until 2013. The EWA Action fund also identified Americans that died from asbestos illnesses during this time by working with a research plan developed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
According to the records, asbestos exposure accounts for around 12,000 to 15,000 deaths per year, an increase of around 2,000 to 5,000 from previous research reports. Ironically, asbestosis was the primary cause of death, a disease which sometimes can be treated. Asbestosis caused around 40% to 50% of the fatalities in the research, but EWG states that the numbers are probably much higher.
Furthermore, numerous causes of deaths in the records were due to pneumonia and other unknown respiratory illnesses. Dr. Richard Lemen, a epidemiologist, states that many of the unknown fatalities are probably contributed to asbestos, and that the numbers in the study are too low.
“As shocking as these figures are, they may be too low. The report did not estimate deaths from other asbestos-related diseases. Furthermore, some studies suggest even higher lung cancer rates in asbestos-exposed workers.”
In addition to asbestos exposure causing lung cancer, it can also cause cancer in the larynx, ovaries, abdomen, and testicles. It’s impossible, stated EW senior research analyst, Sonya Lunder, to get an accurate estimate on how many of these forms of deaths occurred due to asbestos exposure.
“Clearly, asbestos kills more Americans each year than we thought. The fact that it is still legal and used in the U.S. is an outrage.”
The problem with misdiagnosis occurs when doctors fail to ask their patients if they have been exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, since asbestos-related illnesses are considered rare diseases, not all physicians have training and knowledge in the area, and in turn, numerous people are misdiagnosed and not treated for diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.
Asbestos is Still Legal in the United States
Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed strict regulations on the use of asbestos, it can still be legally used as long as it stays under a certain percentage in products. In the past, the EPA has tried to ban asbestos entirely, but so far the organization has been unsuccessful. EWG reports that around 8 million pounds of asbestos has been shipped into United States ports since 2006.
Lunder states that asbestos-related deaths will continue until asbestos is banned for good in the United States.
“The only way to see the numbers of asbestos-related fatalities significantly decline among Americans is for our elected leaders to adopt an outright ban on the deadly substance.”
Although there has been numerous information on the dangers of asbestos, many people continue to get exposed unbeknownst to them. Asbestos fibers are thin, fine, and odorless and can be ingested or inhaled easily. It’s impossible for the body to rid of all of the fibers, and over time, organs in the body become irritated, and life-threatening diseases often follow.
Information and Helpful Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other illness due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping families successfully connect with the best mesothelioma attorneys. With over $30 billion currently in asbestos trust funds, now is the right time to take the first step in determining what you may qualify for.
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