HSE publishes latest stats on asbestos related deaths in the UK

The HSE has published latest statistics (collated up to 2013) regarding deaths caused by exposure to asbestos.

There are four main diseases associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres.

Deaths from asbestosis (a form of pneumoconiosis caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres) continue to increase in Great Britain, a legacy of heavy exposures to asbestos in the past.

The latest information shows:

  • In 2013 there were 516 deaths where asbestosis is likely to have contributed as a cause compared with 109 in 1978. (Asbestosis register).
  • There were 217 deaths in 2013 where asbestosis was specifically recorded as the underlying cause of death. (Asbestosis register).
  • There were 985 newly assessed cases for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit in 2014. (IIDB).
  • Annual numbers of newly assessed cases have fluctuated in recent years.

Read the HSE asbestosis statistics here.

Most mesothelioma 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:

  • There were 2,538 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2013, a similar number to the 2,548 deaths in 2012, but substantially higher than the 2,312 deaths in 2011.
  • 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 75 and above.
  • In 2013 there were 2,123 male deaths and 415 female deaths.
  • There were 2,215 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in 2014 compared with 2,145 in 2013.
  • Men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively are now among those most at risk of mesothelioma.

HSE stats for mesothelioma deaths can be found here.