That’s according to the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the Mesothelioma Occupational Statistics. The Statistics record the number of deaths form women and men, aged 16 to 74, in Great Britain between 2002-2010.
Asbestos, and occupational exposure to asbestos is responsible for most of the UK’s mesothelioma cases. As a result, the HSE routinely records the most recent, full-time occupation of the person who died from the disease. In the 8 year period, 1,811 deaths from mesothelioma were recorded among construction workers. The second biggest category for deaths was amongst the electrical trades, where 789 workers died from mesothelioma. Metal workers were the third most at risk with 355 deaths.
Death rates in all categories were weighed again Proportional Mortality Rates (PMR) – or ratio of expected number of deaths in each category. In all three, there were more than twice the number of deaths recorded than anticipated by the HSE. Men are still five times more likely to die from the disease.
According to the HSE, “This is largely a reflection of the fact that past asbestos exposures which cause many of these deaths tended to occur in occupational jobs mainly held by men rather than women. Although still caused by asbestos, a minority of currently occurring female deaths are directly attributed to occupational exposures. The continuing increase in annual mesothelioma deaths is consequence of the effect of past exposure and he long latency period of the disease. The time between initial exposure to asbestos and the manifestation of mesothelioma is typically between 30-40 years.”
Secretaries, cleaners and sales assistants are among the women most at risk from contracting and dying from mesothelioma according to the statistics. The British Mesothelioma Register was established in 1967 in response to mounting evidence of the association between asbestos and mesothelioma.
More than 3,000 people die from asbestos-related illnesses in the UK each year. The UK’s mesothelioma rates are among the highest in the world.
(article taken from Academy TICAtimes Summer 2013)