A recent study from the International Commission of Occupational Health, or ICOH, indicates that more people have died from asbestos exposure in New York and around the world than previously reported. The Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published the study.
ICOH reports that asbestos killed 222,321 people worldwide in 2016. Of those deaths, 39,275 took place in the United States. These numbers are more than twice the estimates issued by multiple government and nongovernment agencies. The study points out that asbestos exposure can lead to a long list of serious health conditions. Mesothelioma is the most well-known asbestos-related disease, but it isn’t the most common one. Lung cancer was actually the most common result of asbestos exposure in 2016, causing 34,270 deaths across the U.S. Mesothelioma was the second most common cause, accounting for 3,161 deaths in 2016. Ovarian cancer, asbestosis and laryngeal cancer rounded out the top five, accounting for 787, 613 and 443 deaths respectively.
The International Ban Asbestos Secretariat reports that 62 countries have banned asbestos, but 100 countries still continue to use the naturally occurring mineral. ICOH reports that 2 million tons of asbestos, which is known for its heat resistance and strength, is consumed around the world each year. Health safety advocates believe that more should be done to reduce its use worldwide.
Many people are exposed to asbestos while performing their jobs. Individuals who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses are eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits through their employers’ insurance. An attorney could review a person’s case and explain all the benefits to which he or she is entitled. Legal counsel could also help prepare the claim and push for the highest benefits settlement possible.