With the use of all types of asbestos banned in the UK construction industry since the 1990’s, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the number of people dying annually due to it would be low.
According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that an average of 13 people a day in the UK alone die from conditions and illnesses caused by previous exposure to asbestos. That’s 5,000 people every year – more than double the number of people who die on the UK’s roads.
And with asbestos still used in large quantities in many parts of the USA and Canada, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, it’s little wonder that the World Health Organisation estimates that 107,000 people die every year as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos.
Who Is At Risk From Asbestos?
Most cases of asbestos-related illness and death occur among those who worked directly with materials containing asbestos or asbestos itself – namely, those in the construction industry.
However, asbestos-related illnesses are not solely linked to those who were in direct and regular contact with the substance. Environmental exposure to asbestos has been seen to have been just as deadly.
In 2004, it was reported that teachers and hospital workers were among the top ten most frequently cited occupations on mesothelioma death certificates. In the US, one quarter of deaths from asbestos-related cancers occurred in those who had never worked directly with asbestos.
Which Countries See The Most People Die From Asbestos?
According to 2016 mortality data , the United States, China, UK, Japan and Italy saw the most deaths from asbestos-related cancers and illnesses. Germany, France, India, Canada, and Spain were also in the top ten.
This could be due to many factors, including continued use of asbestos, the time it takes for cancers and related illnesses to take hold, asbestos being disturbed in older buildings or properties, or even in part down to a number of everyday items that may contain asbestos.
What are some of the asbestos-related illnesses?
There are a number of malignant asbestos-related diseases, and a number that are possibly linked to asbestos exposure. The most common malignant asbestos-related disease is a type of cancer call mesothelioma. Other asbestos-related cancers include lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and laryngeal cancer.
There are also a number of cancers that are possibly linked to asbestos exposure, thus accounting for many of the global asbestos deaths. These include, but are not limited to, pharyngeal cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer.
UKATA Asbestos Awareness Course
If you work in an environment where you’re likely to disturb asbestos, you will need to undertake asbestos awareness training. Though the use of asbestos was banned in 1999, it is still present in buildings built before 2000 where it would have been used for insulation and fireproofing.
Our UKATA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course is a comprehensive online training solution which is easy to use, convenient and the most affordable UKATA course in the UK. It takes just two hours to complete and can be taken by both beginners and those who just need a refresher. Find out more here.