The Gori Law Firm
Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day
To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in addition to face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation.
More than $3 Billion Recovered For Our Clients

Women and mesothelioma

The good news is that Americans have become more and more aware of the dangers of asbestos. This may be part of the reason that we’ve seen the rate of mesothelioma diagnoses trend downward since the early 1990s. The bad news—for women—is that that downward trend owes entirely to the lower rate of male diagnoses.

While we see mesothelioma affecting a smaller and smaller portion of the male population, the rate of women affected remains pretty much the same as it has since the late 1980s. As a result, women now account for roughly one-quarter of all new mesothelioma cases.

Why is the mesothelioma gender gap closing?

It used to be that women only counted for 1 out of every 5 mesothelioma cases. Recently, the ratio has risen to 1 in 4. This owes to several factors:

  • An increased number of women in the workforce. While the most at-risk industries are still largely male-dominated, women now account for a larger percentage of the workforce than before. Even in some of the most at-risk industries, the U.S. Department of Labor reports that women make up roughly 28% of all manufacturers, 13% of all miners, 9% of everyone in the construction industry and 6% of all firefighters.
  • Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop. The first signs of cancer often don’t appear until decades after the asbestos exposure. However, these latency periods can vary with the severity of the exposure and the types of asbestos fibers involved. Because many women suffered their exposure to asbestos through secondary means, such as washing clothes laced with the fibers, they may be developing the cancer later. If this is the case, it may simply take time for the rate of female diagnoses to drop as male diagnoses did several years back.
  • The data from the National Cancer Institute shows that the 5-year survival rate for women is more than double that for men. This statistic measures survival from the diagnosis, rather than the onset of the disease, so it’s not the reason we’ve seen an increased ratio of female diagnoses. However, it does mean that women now represent a little over one-third of all living mesothelioma victims.
  • The homes and work environments where women spend more of their time are getting older. Older offices, schools and homes were often built with materials that contain asbestos. Though the EPA claims these materials should be safe so long as they remain intact, renovations and aging may damage them and release their asbestos fibers into the air. As the buildings get older, there’s a greater chance that the women who work in them may suffer from exposure to asbestos.

What does this mean?

Women don’t always fit the mold of the standard mesothelioma victim. Doctors might expect to diagnose mesothelioma in a retired male shipyard worker, but they might be more likely to look to other causes for the same symptoms when they find them in a female teacher or stay-at-home mom. Still, while women may not work as often in the high-risk industries where asbestos is common, the EPA reminds us, there is no safe level of exposure. Secondary exposure can be just as serious, but women may need to push harder for an accurate diagnosis and treatment than their male counterparts.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Why Choose The Gori Law Firm?

  1. Experience

    With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we guide our clients through the litigation process by addressing questions and concerns and about the outcome every step of the way. Read More

  2. Results

    The team at The Gori Law Firm fights hard for clients, working to get the compensation and the settlement they deserve, obtaining over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Read More

  3. Team Approach

    We are more than just experienced attorneys: our team is also made up of highly trained paralegals and professionals specially trained to deal with the demands of these complex cases. Read More

  4. Faster Trial Dates

    We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. The Gori Law Firm works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More


Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum American Association for Justice
ABA - Defending Liberty - Pursuing Justice Illinois State Bar Association

Fill Out Our Form Today To Get A Free Case Review.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Get a Free Case Review Today

The Gori Law Firm News

Chris Layloff Announced as One of Top 10 Asbestos/Mesothelioma Trial Lawyers in Illinois by National Trial Lawyers

Read More >

In The Community

The Gori Law Firm and Global Brew Raise More Than $20,000 at Recent Oktoberfest Event

More Community & Events >

Read Our White Paper

A Continuing Threat: How Deadly Legacy Of Asbestos Haunts Navy Veterans Today >

Edwardsville Office
The Gori Law Firm
156 North Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Edwardsville Law Office Map

Washington, DC Office
The Gori Law Firm
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW
10th Floor

Washington, DC 20009
Washington Law Office Map

New Orleans Office
The Gori Law Firm
909 Poydras Street, Suite 2195
New Orleans, LA 70112
New Orleans Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
The Gori Law Firm
3878 Carson Street, Suite 210
Torrance, CA 90503
Torrance Law Office Map

New York Office
The Gori Law Firm
360 Lexington Avenue
20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
New York Law Office Map

Orlando Office
The Gori Law Firm
37 N. Orange Ave., Suite 1100F
Orlando, FL 32801
Orlando Law Office Map

Granite City Office
The Gori Law Firm
2862 Madison Avenue
Granite City, IL 62040
Granite City Law Office Map

Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day 888-362-6890
Close X

Contact Us For A Free Case Assessment

Back To Top