Have you heard that Mesothelioma Cases Are Declining and that the disease will soon disappear?
Most cases of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure and many people believe that asbestos is no longer used and so mesothelioma should be a diminishing disease.
This is a myth for a number of reasons. Currently there are 2,000 to 3,000 new mesothelioma cases each year and the incident rate peaked in the mid-1990s according to the National Cancer Institute.
However, the rate of incidence is not expected to stay low for too much longer. We’ll explain why.
In case you missed it, check out our series on asbestos myths here.
Is asbestos illegal? Shouldn’t mesothelioma be a problem that will be extinct soon?
In fact, asbestos is not illegal and is still used in construction components every day in the United States. Asbestos was only illegal for a two year period between 1989 and 1991, but then asbestos lobbyists were able to get the ban overturned.
Since then, asbestos is back in use – and more than 30 million tons of asbestos are imported into the US each year. Assistant US Surgeon General Dr Richard Lemen says, “As long as asbestos use continues, this mounting toll from asbestos induced deaths will grow.”
The US currently has the largest number of incidences of mesothelioma of any country and also was the largest historical consumer of asbestos in the world. This ties to the continual diagnosis of mesothelioma over the past eight decades and the loss of life associated with this terrible cancer caused, in most cases, by asbestos exposure.
Many US workers exposed to asbestos also unintentionally exposed their families to the invisible fibers on their work clothes, which increased incidences of the disease.
Is mesothelioma an illness of the past?
Even though asbestos use has diminished in recent years, the presence of asbestos in older buildings (pre-1985) is still a concern. In particular, the World Trade Center terror attacks are predicted to lead to a resurgence in mesothelioma cases 30 to 40 years from the 9/11 attacks.
The large dust cloud from the collapse of the Twin Towers remained in the air for weeks, fires that likely contained asbestos burned for three months, and residual dust lingered from the collapse for five months following the incident.
The cloud was comprised of a variety of toxic substances including an estimated 400 tons, minimum, of invisible asbestos fibers. The North Tower alone had 300-400 tons of asbestos in its construction and the South Tower would have also contained asbestos components.
When the towers collapsed, all of this leached into the air and was breathed in by first responders, local residents, workers, and tourists visiting the area. The cloud may have dispersed particles to areas surrounding Manhattan as well.
Dr Stephen Levin of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, “It is likely that those individuals who live and work in close vicinity to the site are at some increased risk for the development of asbestos-related cancers, including malignant mesothelioma.”
And Dr Arthur Frank of the University of Texas said, “New Yorkers have legitimate health concerns about the potential risk for development of asbestos-related cancer.”
Contact Bergman Draper Oslund
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is not an illness of the past. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, let the asbestos experts at Bergman Draper Oslund help. We specialize in helping mesothelioma victims and have a track record of winning significant settlements.
To date, we’ve won more than $700 million for asbestos victims and are ready to fight for your rights. Call (888) 647-6007 for a free case evaluation of your mesothelioma claim.