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Asbestos Health Risks in the US

In April this year, The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) released new findings from research conducted by President of the International Commission of Occupational Health (ICOH), Jukka Takala.

According to Dr. Takala’s research, asbestos-related diseases caused 39,275 deaths in the US annually—more than double the previous estimates of 15,000 per year. Specifically, asbestos leads to 34,270 lung cancer deaths, 3,161 mesothelioma deaths, 787 ovarian cancer deaths, 443 larynx cancer deaths, and 613 chronic asbestosis deaths.

The Global Asbestos Disaster findings, unveiled at the 14th Annual Asbestos Disease Awareness Conference in Washington, DC, reports a shocking increase in asbestos-related deaths—underscoring the escalating and critical need for an asbestos ban.

“The latest research from Dr. Jukka Takala reveals that U.S. deaths from asbestos have been severely under reported,” stated Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, Retired Assistant Surgeon General of the United States and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair.

“His latest data shows 39,275 deaths from asbestos-related diseases occur in the US each year, which is over twice the number published by U.S. Governmental agencies. We have known that asbestos-related deaths were severely under reported but this latest report confirms that the mortality rate of asbestos exposures is indeed of epidemic proportions. It is essential we immediately ban asbestos, as have most developed countries, in order to curb this suffering and loss of life.”

Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of ADAO believes “It is abundantly clear the EPA should include deadly legacy asbestos including Libby Amphibole in its assessment. Our conference this year brought together asbestos researchers and ban advocates from across the globe all asking for the same thing: that we stop considering asbestos exposure acceptable.”

Dr. Takala stated “Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen and worldwide we’re seeing its impact increase. It’s time for the United States to take action and recognize the need for a ban. There is no safe level of exposure.”


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