The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent nonprofit dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure through education, advocacy, and community work, today announced new findings via research from Jukka Takala DSc, MSc, BSc, President of the International Commission of Occupational Health (ICOH). The findings, unveiled at the 14th Annual Asbestos Disease Awareness Conference in Washington, DC, reports a shocking increase in asbestos-related deaths—underscoring the escalating and critical need for an asbestos ban.
According to Dr. Takala’s research, asbestos-related diseases cause 39,275 deaths in the United States annually—more than double the previous estimates of 15,000 per year. Specifically, asbestos leads to 34,270 lung cancer deaths, 3,161 mesothelioma deaths, 787 ovarian cancer deaths, 443 larynx cancer deaths, and 613 chronic asbestosis deaths.
“The latest research from Dr. Jukka Takala reveals that U.S. deaths from asbestos have been severely under reported,” stated Richard Lemen, PhD, MSPH, Retired Assistant Surgeon General of the United States and ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair. “His latest data shows 39,275 deaths from asbestos-related diseases occur in the U.S. each year, which is over twice the number published by U.S. Governmental agencies. We have known that asbestos-related deaths were severely under reported but this latest report confirms that the mortality rate of asbestos exposures is indeed of epidemic proportions. It is essential we immediately ban asbestos, as have most developed countries, in order to curb this suffering and loss of life.”
“Dr. Takala’s data is more important now than ever. The EPA’s imminent release of its final formulation document will define how the agency evaluates the risk of asbestos as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act,” stated Linda Reinstein, President and Co-Founder of ADAO. “It is abundantly clear the EPA should include deadly legacy asbestos including Libby Amphibole in its assessment. Our conference this year brought together asbestos researchers and ban advocates from across the globe all asking for the same thing: that we stop considering asbestos exposure acceptable. These new findings make the call for a ban in the United States even more critical, and we are hopeful the EPA specifically will take note and make the appropriate response.”
“It was my enormous pleasure to be a part of ADAO’s 14th annual conference and share these important new findings,” stated Dr. Takala. “Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen and worldwide we’re seeing its impact increase. It’s time for the United States to take action and recognize the need for a ban. There is no safe level of exposure.”
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