Vancouver, Canada – British Columbia unions after concluding a study, predict that 300 people will die each year for the next five years from an asbestos-related disease. That equals to more than 1500 people dying from mesothelioma and other illnesses related to asbestos exposure.
The analysis is based on statistics from WorkSafeBC and recent research from The University of British Columbia’s School of Environmental Health.
A professor at UBC agrees with the predictions. He says that there are about 70 reported cases of mesothelioma and 140 more cases of other asbestos-related cancers each year. Those along with the number of cancer cases that get misdiagnosed make the total number of deaths related to asbestos exposure to be 250-300 per year.
Wayne Laxton, a business manager for the BC Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers says that workers in British Columbia’s insulation industry have had heavy exposure to the substance, and many of them are unaware of it. He urges these workers and those who have retired from the industry to get health checks to see if they have been affected. He also urges widows to demand autopsies for their deceased husbands who were union members to determine if the cause of their death was asbestos.
Researchers believe that internationally, the number of deaths resulting from asbestos exposure will peak some time in the next ten years.