July 6th is Action Mesothelioma Day
The UK has the world’s highest incidence of mesothelioma with more than 2,700 people diagnosed each year and this number is increasing. The rising number of patients is directly linked to the UK’s continued import and use of asbestos into the late 1990s.
Action Mesothelioma Day is an annual day to raise awareness and pay tribute to all those people living with the mesothelioma cancer.
Mesothelioma, contracted through past exposure to asbestos and one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, killed 2,595 in Great Britain in 2016. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to decline.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that takes many years to develop following the inhalation of asbestos fibres, but is usually rapidly fatal following symptom onset. Annual deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.
The latest information shows:
- There were 2,595 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2016, broadly similar to the previous four years.
- The latest projections suggest that there will continue to be around 2,500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begin to decline.
- The continuing increase in annual mesothelioma deaths in recent years has been driven mainly by deaths among those aged 70 and above.
- In 2016 there were 2,197 male deaths and 398 female deaths, broadly similar to the annual numbers among males and females in the previous four years.
- There were 2,170 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in 2016 of which 240 were female, compared with 2,130 in 2015 of which 220 were female.
- Men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively are now among those most at risk of mesothelioma. Figure 1 – Mesothelioma annual deaths, IIDB cases and projected future deaths
The information in this document relates to Health and Safety Statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive. The document can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/
Source HSE July 2018