Asbestos Lawyers: Mesothelioma Death Rate Should Peak by 2010

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted April 27, 2009


The CDC released a new report last week that analyzed the malignant mesothelioma death rate in the United States, concluding that the number of deaths each year should finally peak by 2010 and return to background levels by 2055. Although the first asbestos case was filed in the United States in 1929, the continuing deadly effects of the toxic substance will likely lead to additional mesothelioma lawsuits throughout at least the first half of this century.

Asbestos is no longer mined in the United States and most uses have been banned since the 1980s. However, it remains in thousands of buildings and homes throughout the country. The CDC estimates that approximately 1.3 million construction workers and general industry workers continue to be exposed to asbestos.

According to an editorial note attached to the CDC mesothelioma report:

Despite regulatory actions and the sharp decline in use of asbestos, potential exposure to asbestos continues, but most deaths from mesothelioma in the United States derive from exposures decades ago. Because mesothelioma manifests 20–40 years after first exposure, the number of mesothelioma deaths will likely peak by 2010. The analysis described in this report indicates that the annual number of mesothelioma deaths is still increasing, and future cases will continue to reflect the extensive past use of asbestos. New cases also might result through occupational and environmental exposure to asbestos during remediation and demolition of existing asbestos in buildings if controls are insufficient to protect workers and the surrounding community.

Some of the interesting mesothelioma statistics from the CDC report include:

  • A total of 18,068 malignant mesothelioma deaths were reported between 1999 and 2005.
  • Over 80% of the deaths (14,591) involved men diagnosed with mesothelioma
  • Over 95% of the deaths (17,180) involved whites diagnosed with mesothelioma
  • The greatest number of mesothelioma deaths occurred among those 75 years or older
  • The six states with the highest mesothelioma death rates were Maine, Wyoming, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington
  • The number of mesothelioma deaths increased 8.9% between 1999 and 2005, from 2,482 in 1999 to 2,704 in 2005, despite the fact that the annual death rate in the United States remained stable at around 14 per million people.


The mesothelioma lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential asbestos lawsuits throughout the United States on behalf of people diagnosed with any asbestos-related disease. To review a potential claim for your family on behalf of someone diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or another related disease, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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