Update on Mesothelioma

Written by on May 25, 2017 in Asbestos, Mesothelioma

On March 3, 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), issued a new report on the rate of malignant mesothelioma deaths from exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, the results are not good, especially for West Virginia.

Prior Projections

Previously, the CDC estimated that the number of mesothelioma cases among males in the United States would peak at about 2,000 cases per year between 2000 and 2004. After 2005, the number of mesothelioma cases per year was expected to begin declining until leveling off in 2055.

Current Study

To update their projections on mesothelioma, the CDC analyzed annual death records for 1999 to 2015. During this period, a total of 45,221 deaths – with malignant mesothelioma mentioned on the death certificate as the underlying or contributing cause of death – were reported in the United States. Unfortunately, the number of deaths increased from 2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015.

After acknowledging some potential discrepancies and limitations of the study, the CDC report concludes: “Despite regulatory actions and decline in asbestos use, the annual number of malignant mesothelioma deaths remains substantial. Contrary to past projections, the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths has been increasing. The continuing occurrence of mesothelioma deaths, particularly among younger populations, underscores the need for maintaining efforts to prevent exposure and for ongoing surveillance to monitor temporal trends.”

Findings Pertaining to West Virginia

This new report lists the industries and occupations with higher death rates caused from mesothelioma. Many of these industries and occupations existed for decades and continue to exist in West Virginia. Specifically, the report lists insulation workers, chemical technicians, pipefitters, millwrights, electricians and many others.

As a result, West Virginia is reported to have greater than 16.6 deaths per year (per 1 million population) for persons age 25 or older. West Virginia is at the top of this very unfortunate list (Maine and Washington had the worst with more than 20 deaths per year).

This report may be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm

We are West Virginia lawyers who have represented West Virginians for decades. If you have questions about mesothelioma, call us. We know the procedures and rules and can help.

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