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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
April 11, 2017

Asbestos Exposure Still Poses Occupational Health Risks

JAMA. 2017;317(14):1405. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2935

Malignant mesothelioma, which is caused mainly by inhaling asbestos fibers, continues to take a sizeable toll despite regulations enacted decades ago to limit occupational exposure to asbestos.

Data from death records of adults aged 25 years or older showed that the disease caused or contributed to 45 221 deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2015. In 1999, 2479 deaths were linked with malignant mesothelioma compared with 2579 in 2015. Men were hardest hit, accounting for about 36 000 deaths during the study period. White adults composed more than 90% of the deaths.