October 22, 2022 By Alex Garcia

Asbestos Exposure & Injury Statistics

After decades of research, it’s clear that asbestos causes cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Diseases Caused by Asbestos Exposure 

Tiny, sharp asbestos fibers lodge themselves in the airway and lungs when inhaled. Over time, this can cause various cancerous and non-cancerous diseases to develop, including: 

  • Mesothelioma: Cancer of the mesothelial linings of the lungs, abdomen, and heart is the deadliest asbestos-related disease. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. 
  • Lung cancer: Inhaling asbestos fibers causes six times more lung cancer cases than mesothelioma. This is a cancer of the lungs rather than the lining surrounding them. 
  • Larynx and kidney cancer: Asbestos exposure can cause cancerous tumors on the larynx (voice box) and kidneys. 
  • Asbestosis: This chronic inflammatory lung disease results from long-term, heavy exposure to asbestos. It isn’t cancerous, but it causes severe lung scarring, which can be fatal. 
  • Asbestos pleural disease: The symptoms of this condition are similar to asbestosis, but it affects the lining of the lungs, not the organs themselves. 
  • Bronchitis and pneumonia: Stressed lungs and airways can develop severe bronchitis and pneumonia. These conditions may appear independently or alongside the other diseases listed here. 

Asbestos Exposure Facts 

Asbestos played a central role in American manufacturing throughout the 20th century. Before regulations came about in the 1970s and 1980s, it was used in thousands of products across numerous industries. Here are some disturbing facts about asbestos exposure in the United States: 

  • Asbestos is banned in more than 60 countries, but not the US. 
  • Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of work-related deaths. 
  • About 1.3 million US workers are at risk of on-the-job asbestos exposure. 
  • The at-risk occupations include plumbers, electricians, firefighters, insulators, construction workers, auto mechanics, industrial workers, miners, and power plant workers. 
  • Millions of older homes and buildings in the US contain asbestos. The risk of exposure is highest when asbestos products are moved or damaged, which can occur during renovation and demolition work. 

Asbestos-Related Disease & Death Statistics 

The number of lives damaged and lost due to asbestos exposure is tragic. Consider these asbestos injury facts: 

  • Around 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. 
  • More than 39,000 Americans die of asbestos-related diseases annually. 
  • In 1990, more than 80 percent of insulation workers who had 20 years of experience developed asbestosis, and 40 percent died of asbestos-related diseases. 
  • Illinois ranks sixth in the nation for mesothelioma deaths, likely due to the state’s emphasis on manufacturing, agriculture, power generation, and coal and petroleum production. 

Vogelzang Law is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing mesothelioma victims nationwide. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, you could be entitled to compensation. Call (888) 249-4834 or contact our law office in Chicago, IL, or Grand Rapids, MI, to learn how we can help you fight for justice.