According to a new report from the CDC, mesothelioma deaths among women are on the rise.
In 1999, 489 women died from mesothelioma (as noted on their death certificates). By 2020 this number rose to 614, with peaks even higher in 2017 and 2019.
At the same time, the age-adjusted death rate for women dropped overall, making this increase even more concerning. Between 1999 and 2020, a total of 12,227 deaths happened due to malignant mesothelioma among women aged 25 years and older, with 94% of those deaths having malignant mesothelioma as the listed cause of death.
What do these statistics mean for women and their correlation with the rare disease? What could be causing this increase? Let’s find out.
Why These Statistics Can Be Alarming
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer often caused by exposure to asbestos. While the use of asbestos has declined in recent years, it is still a common environmental pollutant, and many people have been exposed to it through their work or home environments.
Typically, occupational asbestos exposure is reported on men working in industries including auto repair, shipyard work, construction, and manufacturing. While the link between occupational exposures and mesothelioma for men is direct, that is not the case with women.
While there is limited data on women and their exposure to asbestos, this report poses the question whether these alarming cases can be linked to direct or secondary exposure.
Are These Cases Linked through Direct or Secondary Exposure?
For women, the report noted the highest numbers of mesothelioma deaths among homemakers, elementary and middle school teachers, and registered nurses. The report also says that the top three states with the highest percentages of mesothelioma deaths among women were Maine, Louisiana, and Minnesota – states with extensive shipyard building economies, states with a history of mining, process, and traditionally relied on asbestos products in construction.
This report implies that a direct link may exist due to asbestos used in construction materials in school buildings and homes for some women. For other women, mesothelioma is linked to secondary exposure tied to the occupation of male relatives in the home who brought fibers home from their job sites.
For more details on family exposure, download our free guide and see how we can help you.
In Louisiana alone, there are many workers who have been exposed to asbestos and are now struggling with the impact of mesothelioma. The symptoms can take years to manifest and can take many forms.
Even though this disease is rare on a national scale, it does occur here more so than other states, due to our heavy industrial history that includes shipyards as well as other manufacturing plants. As with any disease, the early detection of mesothelioma offers the best chance of successful treatment.
How Can We Help?
You have rights if you have mesothelioma from constant exposure to asbestos at work or through secondary exposure. At Landry & Swarr, we offer our experience and compassion to help you get the rights and compensation you deserve.
In fact, contact us for a free case evaluation!