Looking for current facts and statistics on asbestosis?
“[My] father was diagnosed with asbestosis... It was a horrible death what I watched him go through. And, knowing that I most likely had the pleural plaque as well, I really started getting [my]self worried, especially the way I seen [my] dad die...”
--Alan Clark, asbestosis and mesothelioma patient.
Facts and statistics about asbestosis have been accumulating since at least the early 20th century: theBritish Medical Journal published the first article on the dangers of asbestos dust in 1924. (http://pmj.bmj.com/content/80/940/72.abstract) In the United States, studies identified asbestosis as early as 1935. (http://www.osti.gov/energycitations
Knowledge about the dangers of asbestos did not become widespread in America until Dr. Irving Selikoff and colleagues released a study conclusively linking asbestos to lung disease. Selikoff examined the work histories and health records of employees at the Union Asbestos and Rubber Co. in Paterson, NJ going back to 1942, and found “a strong correlation between asbestos exposure and a variety of lung ailments. He announced the findings in 1963 and they caused a stir.” (http://tobaccodocuments.org/profiles/selikoff.html)
Selikoff's research influenced the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's decision to place restrictions on workplace exposure to asbestos, starting in 1971. (Tobacco Docs) With the truth about asbestos out in the open, more and more medical research was possible. Over forty years later, we now have a wealth of facts and statistics about asbestosis.
Weitz & Luxenberg has represented people affected by asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases for over twenty years. As such, we have experience with the facts and statistics about asbestosis. We would like to share the facts and statistics about asbestosis with people who are living with asbestosis, and all who want to learn more about this terrible disease.
Asbestosis facts and statistics: years of exposure, and years of research
Asbestosis is potentially deadly, but not a common cause of death. Between 1999 and 2004, there were 3,211 deaths due to asbestosis in the United States. (http://www.lungusa.org/lung-disease/asbestosis/understanding-asbestosis.html) To put this number in perspective, consider that between1999 and 2005, a total of 18,068 malignant mesothelioma deaths were reported in the United States. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5815a3.htm)
While mesothelioma can strike anyone exposed to a certain amount of asbestos, it takes long-term, heavy asbestos exposure to develop asbestosis. This kind of exposure almost exclusively takes place at work, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has years of research on the specific rates of mortality due to asbestosis, listed by industry.
The top ten occupations among Americans who died of asbestosis in the years 1991-1992 are:
1. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (46)
2. Electricians (31)
3. Insulation workers (29)
4. Carpenters (25)
5. Laborers, except construction (24)
6. Supervisors, precision production occupations (18)
7. Boilermakers (18)
8. Managers and administrators (17)
9. Welders and cutters (17)
10. Janitors and cleaners (15)
Other important facts and statistics about asbestosis mortality rates are:
- Study of mortality trends in the United States show that while deaths from other pneumoconioses (lung diseases caused by inhaling mineral dust) are declining, deaths from asbestosis are increasing. Deaths from asbestosis are not expected to decrease in the next 15 years. One model predicts 29,667 deaths from 2005 to 2027.
- Estimated annual years of potential life lost before age 65 years attributable to asbestosis totaled 7267 in the years 2001-2005 and represented a significant increase from 1968-1972.
Legal options in the face of upsetting asbestosis facts and statistics
Asbestosis facts and statistics reflect the past and present. We at Weitz & Luxenberg prefer to focus on the present, and how we can help you right now. Asbestos exposure in the past has brought you to your present illness, and the damage asbestos does to the lungs cannot be reversed, but you have options for your future.
If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis and have been considering your legal options, call Weitz & Luxenberg or fill out a form today for a free legal consultation.