CDC report underscores mesothelioma cancer risk for asbestos workers

by Jim Orr

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on the dangers of malignant mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.  The report highlights the ongoing health crisis posed by workplace asbestos exposure and the health risks that workers who used this dangerous product will continue to face for decades to come.

The use of asbestos-containing products has been severely restricted in the U.S. in recent years due to the health risks associated with the material, which include asbestosis and lung cancer in addition to mesothelioma. Asbestos use in the U.S. peaked in 1973, with about 803,000 metric tons in use, to approximately 1,700 metric tons in 2007.

Despite efforts to limit the use of asbestos products, thousands of Americans continue to die from mesothelioma each year because of the decades-long latency period that occurs between asbestos exposure and cancer diagnosis. According to the CDC, the U.S. will continue to see thousands of deaths each year due to mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses because of widespread exposure to the product decades ago.

According to the CDC report, about 2,600 mesothelioma deaths occurred in the U.S. each year between 1999 and 2005. Most individuals who died from mesothelioma were over 75 years of age, as would be expected from a disease that takes between 20 and 40 years after asbestos exposure for the first symptoms to appear.

The most common industries in which people work who have died from mesothelioma include shipbuilding and repair (including veterans of the U.S. Navy), industrial and chemical industry, petroleum refining, electrical or power plant workers, and construction workers. The most commonly reported occupations among workers who have died from mesothelioma include plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, mechanical engineers, electricians, and elementary school teachers.

The report identified several states where the risk of death from mesothelioma was significantly greater than the national average. States with the highest rate of mesothelioma deaths include Maine, Wyoming, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Washington.

Living With Illnesses Caused By Asbestos: Your Legal Rights

Workers who were exposed to asbestos on the job may face expensive medical bills due to the high costs associated with treatments for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Costs associated with the treatment of asbestos illnesses can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medications, and doctor bills.

However, workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other diseases caused by asbestos also have legal rights. Legal records have shown that the companies who manufactured asbestos products knew about the health risks associated with asbestos for decades, but failed to alert the public or their workers about the significant dangers posed by asbestos exposure.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other illnesses caused by asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in filing a case is seeking a consultation with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the litigation process.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled hundreds of personal injury lawsuits on behalf of clients who were injured in the workplace or because of other mishaps. Our attorneys have achieved verdicts and settlements for our clients totaling more than $200 million—including settlements of over $50 million in 2010 alone.

Our law firm has the financial resources to handle cases involving personal injury from beginning to end. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to take our client’s case to trial and achieve the best possible outcome for their case. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

Contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free case evaluation and to learn more about filing a lawsuit for mesothelioma and asbestos diseases. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free legal consultation form located on this website.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.