Previous estimates on mesothelioma death rates in U.K. revised

August 10th, 2005

It appears that earlier predictions regarding a peak for the number of people dying from mesothelioma in the United Kingdom were incorrect. Experts had believed that the peak in mesothelioma deaths (between 2,700 and 3,300 per year) would come in 2020, but now that has been revised to somewhere between the years 2011 and 2015. Furthermore, the actual number of deaths at that peak is expected to be lower: between 1,950 and 2,450 per year.

This is good news for mesothelioma victims. As for why, around 1980 there was a sharp reduction in the use of asbestos as an insulating material and since mesothelioma symptoms take years to develop, the picture is now becoming clearer.

By comparison, the number of mesothelioma deaths for men in the United States hit a peak of 2,300 just before the turn of the century. On the basis of historical trends about current and projected asbestos exposure, the number is expected to decline to about 500 per year by 2055. The number of American women dying as a result of asbestos exposure has been at 500 for a while and is expected to remain at that level.

The 20-year difference between the two countries can be explained roughly by that lag in the timing of peak exposures; asbestos continued to be used in the U.K. longer than it was in the U.S. If asbestos use and exposure remains at the current low level, the number of people with mesothelioma symptoms, and thus the number filing mesothelioma lawsuits, will become fewer and further between.

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