Deaths from mesothelioma continue to increase in Great Britain. Most deaths occurring now are a legacy of past occupational exposures to asbestos when it was widely used in the building industry.
The latest information shows:
- The number of mesothelioma deaths has increased from 153 in 1968 to 2 347 in 2010. Over 80% of deaths were among men mainly due to asbestos exposures in the workplace. (Mesothelioma register).
- There were 1 985 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit in 2011 (IIDB).
- Men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively are now among those most at risk of mesothelioma.
- The worst case predictions for males are that annual deaths will increase to a peak of about 2 100 around the year 2016.
- Female deaths are likely to peak after this but at a much lower level as most deaths among women are likely to be due to non occupational asbestos exposures.
Mesothelioma deaths and disablement benefit cases 1981-2011