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Mesothelioma in the United States

The United States has historically been a major producer and importer of asbestos, the deadly fibrous mineral that causes mesothelioma. Although the use of asbestos in the U.S. has declined over the last several decades, it can still be found in many older buildings, materials, and products, and because of the cancer’s long latency period, people who were exposed as long ago as the 1960s or 1970s are being diagnosed with mesothelioma today.

One of the hardest-hit groups of Americans who have been exposed to asbestos are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Every branch of the military has had its share of mesothelioma cases, though the U.S. Navy has produced more diagnoses than the other branches due to the high amounts of asbestos used in naval ships for insulation and other products subject to the pressures of heat, friction, and electricity.

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Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Deaths in the U.S.

The number one place where people are exposed to asbestos in the United States is at work. However, asbestos can also be found in many homes, schools, and public buildings, putting Americans, residents, and visitors to the U.S. at risk of developing mesothelioma.

  • From 1999 – 2015, more than 42,500 people were died from mesothelioma in the United States (Source: CDC)
  • The average mesothelioma death rate in the U.S. is 8.3 people per million (Source: CDC)
  • The United States has 913 known asbestos mines and naturally occurring deposits (Source: USGS)
  • The highest rates of mesothelioma incidence occur in the Rust Belt, Mid-Atlantic, and Northwestern states
  • (Source: CDC)
Top Mesothelioma Doctors in the Country
David Sugarbaker, M.D.

David Sugarbaker, M.D.

Professor of Surgery, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery, Director of the Lung Institute Map Marker Baylor College of Medicine
Raphael Bueno, M.D.

Raphael Bueno, M.D.

Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery; Vice Chair of Surgery for Cancer and Translational Research Map Marker Brigham and Women's Hospital

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families

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