Inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, and other serious lung diseases such as asbestosis and pleural thickening.
In 2015 there were 2,542 deaths from mesothelioma and 452 from asbestosis.
Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and pleural thickening: time trends in annual deaths and Industrial Injuries Benefit Disablement (IIDB) cases*
- All asbestos-related diseases typically take many years to develop so current statistics reflect the legacy of past working conditions.
- Widespread use of asbestos containing products in the past, particularly in the post-WWII building industry, led to a large increase in asbestos-related disease in Great Britain over the last few decades.
- The cancer, mesothelioma, has such a strong relationship with asbestos that annual deaths give a particularly clear view of the effect of past exposures
- Annual deaths increased steeply over the last 50 years, largely as a result of asbestos exposure prior to 1980, and are now expected to continue at current levels for the rest of the decade before declining
Read more about Mesothelioma Mortality in Great Britain 1968-2015 here.
Read the report about the wider asbestos related disease here.