Maine has highest mesothelioma death rate in the nation, says NIOSH
May 26, 2009 – Newly released government research identifies Maine as having the highest asbestos-related mesothelioma death rate per capita of any state in the nation – this, according to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, or NIOSH, an arm of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC, which did not begin tracking mesothelioma as a cause of death until 1999, calculates that between 1999 and 2005, 18,068 individuals died from mesothelioma, with the national rate remaining relatively stable at about 14 individuals per million per year.
Maine’s mortality rate from mesothelioma stands at 27 individuals per million for the same period, the highest per capita death rate of any state. Second in mortality was Wyoming, with 22 deaths per million; followed by West Virginia with 21; Pennsylvania with 20; New Jersey with 20; and Washington with 20.
NIOSH also made available total mesothelioma state mortality figures for the above six states. Pennsylvania led that category with 1,210 total deaths between 1999 and 2005.
Maine tops state list
According to NIOSH, Maine's higher per capita rate of mesothelioma deaths is due to the state's smaller population, blue-collar worker-based economy, and the large number of purpose-built older buildings, which were rehabbed for residencial use rather than being demolished.
From 2000 to 2004, two counties – Sagadahoc County in Maine, and Koochiching County in Minnesota – had age-adjusted malignant mesothelioma death rates that exceeded the national average by 500 percent. During the same period, more than 30 percent of mesothelioma victims lived in one of five states: California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
The truth about asbestos
Despite the fatal health consequences associated with asbestos exposure, asbestos is still imported and used in the United States for its insulation properties. The United States imported and used an estimated 1,820 tons of asbestos in 2007, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Today, with the continued use of asbestos, the CDC estimates that 1.3 million construction and industrial workers are currently being exposed to potentially lethal asbestos. This is in addition to the millions of workers who have already been exposed.
Time to seek justice
Weitz & Luxenberg, New York City's preeminent personal injury law firm, has represented workers diagnosed with an asbestos disease for more than 20 years – longer than most law firms in the nation. And in that time the firm's mesothelioma lawyers have won several billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients to pay for medical bills, lost wages and damages.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and seek FREE legal guidance, please notify us through the communication form on this page. We will pursue your claim with vigilance. And because we work on a contingency basis, there is no cost to you until we win a settlement or a verdict.