Even though the use of asbestos in building materials and other products has been sharply curtailed for decades, its health effects on the American people are far from over.
The newest statistics about mesothelioma continue to show how asbestos continues to be a serious public health concern. Some of the most startling information revealed includes the following facts:
- Mesothelioma continues to be diagnosed at roughly the same rate since 1999
- Over 90 percent of victims are 55 years of age or older at the time of diagnosis — with an average age of 74
- On average, a new patient is diagnosed at roughly the same rate that previously diagnosed patients are dying
In other words, the health crisis caused by asbestos exposure is far from over. It’s important to understand that asbestos was still in wide use in the United States even during the 1970s — so many potential victims in the United States have yet to be discovered.
It’s also important to understand that there’s a lot of asbestos still out there — much of it lurking inside older buildings and homes. In many cases, it’s harmless until renovations start and the crumbling fibers get disturbed. In other cases, those nearly-invisible fibers are already in the air — and getting into the lungs of people who will develop mesothelioma far in the future.
You should also realize that asbestos use still isn’t entirely prohibited in the United States. It is allowed to be used on a limited basis in places where the benefits provided by its fire-retardant properties outweigh its risks. Shipyards and boiler rooms, in particular, still make use of asbestos products.
The news isn’t all bad, however. New treatment methods are giving patients better outcomes, including more effective chemotherapy treatments and increased rates of survival. For example, patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have reached a survival rate of 50 percent at the five-year mark.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, there is compensation available — which can vastly improve your quality of life and your access to effective treatment.