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Asbestos Death Toll Remains High, Latest HSE Report Reveals

Asbestos ruins lives, frequently decades after exposure, and you should not delay in taking legal advice if you or your loved ones are affected.

New figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that the death toll from asbestos remains at a high level.

In summarising its latest findings regarding deaths caused by mesothelioma in Great Britain, the HSE states that annual deaths have increased steeply over the last 50 years, mainly as a consequence of occupational asbestos exposure that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of the material between 1950 and 1980.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue surrounding some of the internal organs, most commonly the outer lining of the lungs and inner lining of the chest cavities. It is usually linked to asbestos exposure and can take many years to develop once asbestos fibres have been inhaled.

The latest figures published by the HSE reveal that there were 2,523 deaths from mesothelioma in Great Britain in 2017, a broadly similar number to the previous five years.

They also show that more than half of deaths now occur in those aged over 75. Deaths in this age group continue to increase annually, while the mortality rate below age 70 is decreasing.

The current statistics relate to 2017. The HSE projects that the figures for the rest of the decade will remain at around 2,500 mesothelioma deaths per year before annual numbers begin to decline. It also points to men who worked in the building trade when asbestos was widely used as being among those with the highest risk of developing mesothelioma.

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