Asbestos and Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Statistics

Click on your state to read about local asbestos and mesothelioma information and mesothelioma statistics.

If you have additional information or your state is missing data, we will be happy to hear about your sources; email us at info@curemeso.org

ALABAMA    ALASKA  ARIZONA ARKANSAS
CALIFORNIA COLORADO CONNECTICUT DELAWARE
FLORIDA GEORGIA HAWAII IDAHO
ILLINOIS INDIANA IOWA KANSAS
KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MAINE MARYLAND
MASSACHUSETTS MICHIGAN MINNESOTA MISSISSIPPI
MISSOURI MONTANA NEBRASKA NEVADA
NEW HAMPSHIRE  NEW JERSEY NEW MEXICO NEW YORK
NORTH CAROLINA NORTH DAKOTA OHIO OKLAHOMA
OREGON PENNSYLVANIA RHODE ISLAND SOUTH CAROLINA
SOUTH DAKOTA TENNESSEE TEXAS UTAH
VERMONT VIRGINIA WASHINGTON WASHINGTON D.C.
WEST VIRGINIA WISCONSIN WYOMING

 

ALABAMA

Alabama ranks fourty-fifth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age adjusted rate of 8.64 per million population. Alabama also ranks twenty fifth in the nation for total mesothelioma deaths between the years 1999 and 2005 with a number of 221, twenty nine of those in 2005.†

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into asbestos and mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. David T. Curiel, M.D. Ph.D, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is examining “Targeted Virotherapy for Mesothelioma" with the support of a grant provided by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.   

ALASKA

Alaska ranks second in the nation for mesothelioma mortality rates with an age-adjusted death rate of 20.3 and 34 deaths between the years 1999 and 2005, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The county of Anchorage Borough ranks among the fifty U.S. counties with the highest age-adjusted death rates with a rate of 35.6 and a total number of 14 deaths in the county between the years 2000 and 2004. 

ARIZONA

Arizona ranks thirty-ninth in the nation for mesothelioma mortality rates with an age adjusted death rate of 9.3, and 282 mesothelioma deaths between 1999 and 2005, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2005, Arizona had 49 mesothelioma deaths totaling 282 between 1999 and 2005, raking it twenty-second in the nation for total mesothelioma death numbers.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  Two out of the 28 studied were in Arizona, located in Phoenix and Glendale.  The production of Libby vermiculite ceased production in 1992 and the plant in Phoenix is currently in operation.*

ARKANSAS

 Arkansas has an age adjusted death rate of 5.77 per million population and 93 deaths between the years 1999 and 2005. In 2005, Arkansas had 16 deaths caused by asbestos and mesothelioma, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

CALIFORNIA

  

California ranks first in the nation in total number of deaths for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with 271 deaths in 2005 and a total number of 1,779 deaths between 1999 and 2005.†  California, however, ranks twenty-eighth in the nation for mesothelioma mortality rate with an age-adjusted rate of 10.65 per million populations, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Two of California’s counties, Yuba and Siskiyou, are ranked among the fifty counties in the U.S. with the highest mesothelioma age-adjusted death rates, with rates of 34.8 and 31.3 per million population respectively.

In California, asbestos was used in power plants, oil refineries and shipyards. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  Chrysotile asbestos, also known as serpentine, was previously mined in California. Today serpentine is the state rock of California.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products. Three out of the twenty eight sites studied were in California. They are located in Santa Ana, Glendale and Newark, California.* Over 400,000 tons of contaminated vermiculite were processed at the Santa Ana site alone. While the plant stopped processing Libby vermiculite in 1993, a sample taken by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 still found Libby asbestos in the soil outside the facility.*

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into asbestos and mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. In 2006, the Foundation funded two separate research projects at the University of California San Francisco; one by Dr. Bin Liu and a second by Dr. Courtney Broaddus. Previously Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation grants supported research at the University of Southern California, the UCLA Medical School and the Veterans Medical Research Foundation in San Diego, CA

COLORADO 

In 2005, Colorado had a total of 26 deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma, and between the years 1999 and 2005 a total of 189, ranking it twenty-eighth in the nation for number of deaths between those years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

In Colorado, asbestos was used in power plants throughout the state. It was also present at some of the state’s mining facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  In Denver, Colorado, the former Western Minerals Company Plant processed over 100,000 tons of Libby vermiculite until it ceased operations in 1990. Workers at this facility were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. The site is currently occupied by a corn syrup manufacturer. Over ten years after the plant ceased processing vermiculite, the Environmental Protection Agency found grains of asbestos in raw vermiculite in soil samples collected on the site and along the railroad lines serving the property.*

 

CONNECTICUT

 Connecticut ranks twentieth in the nation for age-adjusted mortality rate for mesothelioma, with a rate of 12.43 per million according to statistics gathered by the National Center for Health Statistics between the years of 1999 and 2005. With fifty deaths in 2005 and a total of 261 between the years of 1999 and 2005, Connecticut is ranked twenty-fourth in the nation for number of deaths caused by asbestos and mesothelioma between those years. Windham County, Connecticut ranks amongst the fifty counties in America with the highest age-adjusted death rates for mesothelioma with a rate of 31.9 deaths per million population, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

DELAWARE

Delaware ranks sixth in the nation in the age-adjusted mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics between 1999 and 2005, with a rate of 16.16 per million population.  Delaware also ranks forty-fourth in the nation for number of deaths in the nation with seventy-four between the years of 1999 and 2005.

Asbestos was used in refineries in Delaware. Asbestos exposure also occurred at a Dupont facility in Seaford and at the Dover Air Force Base. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

 

FLORIDA

Florida ranks thirty-first in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted mortality rate of 10.06 per million population. Florida also ranks second in the nation for number of deaths from mesothelioma with a total of 1,213 between the years 1999 and 2005, and one hundred fifty-three deaths in 2005.†  In Florida, asbestos was used in power plants, shipyards and at NASA facilities including the Kennedy Space Center.   

Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  Until 1991, a vermiculite processing plant in Tampa, Florida used vermiculite contaminated with asbestos from Libby, Montana to produce fireproofing materials and other products. For ten years, during the early 1960s until 1972, this plant at the time owned by W. R. Grace also used chrysotile asbestos. Workers at the plant were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. Under new owners, the plant is still in operation today as a vermiculite processing facility.[15]  

 

GEORGIA

Georgia ranks twenty-third in the nation for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with a total of 264 between the years of 1999 and 2005, and fourty-five deaths in 2005. †   In Georgia, asbestos was used in power plants, oil refineries and at the Fort Bennett Army Base. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †

 

HAWAII

Asbestos was used at shipyards and air bases in Hawaii. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  Vermiculite of Hawaii processed asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from Libby in a facility in Honolulu from 1954-1983. In studies conducted in 2000 and 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency still found residual asbestos in the buildings and in soil on the site. Other businesses had leased and used the facility in the 1983-2001 period. The ATSDR noted that “the two potential pathways of greatest concern are (1) plant emissions of Libby asbestos that may have reached the adjacent residential area during 1954–1983 and (2) piles of waste rock on the site that may have been accessible to community members, especially children. Children who were exposed to asbestos are a population of particular concern because of the length of time the asbestos fibers remain in their lungs and the long latency of asbestos-related diseases.”*

Dr. Michele Carbone, a former investigator at the National Institutes of Health, moved to the University of Hawaii’s Cancer Research Center in 2006, bringing his mesothelioma expertise. He is Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program and also serves as a clinical professor at the cancer center. Dr. Carbone has been studying mesothelioma since 1991 when little was known about the cancer beyond its link to asbestos. 

 

IDAHO

Idaho ranks twenty-fourth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted mortality rate of 7.67 per million population between the years of 1999 and 2005. Idaho also is ranked forty-third in the nation for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with a total of eighty-one between the years of 1999 and 2005, thirteen of those in 2005. Idaho’s Bonner County rank seventh in the country for age-adjusted mortality rate of mesothelioma with a rate of 50.7 per million population.

ILLINOIS

Illinois ranks sixth in the nation in the number of deaths from mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with one hundred fourty deaths in 2005, and a total of 892 between the years of 1999 and 2005.† Illinois also ranks seventeenth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma an age-adjusted mortality rate of 13.39 per million population between the years of 1999 and 2005. Illinois’s Clinton County ranks among the countries top fifty counties with the highest mesothelioma age-adjusted mortality rate, with a rate of 32.2 per million population.

 A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found two Illinois counties (Lake and Rock Island) among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† † 

In Illinois, asbestos was used in power plants, oil refineries, a naval base and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † Illinois was a major site of Johns Manville’s asbestos processing. 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  W.R Grace operated a plant in West Chicago, Illinois from 1974-1996 that processed over 273,000 tons of Libby vermiculite. The ATSDR discovered in its investigation that in 1975, W.R. Grace sampled air inside the West Chicago facility and found high asbestos concentrations, ranging from 0.76 to 63.18 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc). The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit for asbestos is 0.1 f/cc, a limit based on an 8-hour time-weighted average. Workers at the plant during this period – and potentially a much longer period where sampling is not reported – were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.**

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has funded research projects in the Department of Radiology and Department of Hematology/Oncology and the University of Chicago

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is a medical oncologist at the University of Chicago and Chair of the Mesothelioma Program of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a national clinical trials research group. Her research is focused on the evaluation of novel drugs for the treatment of mesothelioma, including angiogenesis inhibitors and epidemeral growth factor receptor inhibitors. Dr. Kindler also serves on the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s Science Advisory Board.

 

INDIANA

Indiana ranks twenty-third in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 11.97 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.†  Indiana also ranks fourteenth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 402 deaths between 1999 and 2005, and seventy of those in 2005. Indiana has two counties which rank among the country’s top twenty counties for mesothelioma death rates per million population. Posey County ranks eleventh in the nation for age-adjusted death rate from mesothelioma with a rate of 47.8 per million population and Jasper County is ranked seventeenth with an age-adjusted death rate of 43.3 per million population. In Indiana, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

IOWA

Iowa ranks thirty-eighth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 9.35 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Iowa also ranks thirtieth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 173 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-two of those in 2005.

KANSAS 

Kansas ranks thirtieth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 10.22 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Iowa also ranks thirty-third in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 159 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-one of those in 2005.

 

KENTUCKY

Kentucky ranks forty-fourth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 8.68 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Kentucky is ranked twenty-seventh in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 197 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-eight of those in 2005. Kentucky’s Greenup County ranks fourty-first in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 33.4 per million population.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  The site in Wilder, KY processed asbestos between 1952 and 1992, exposing workers, workers' families and nearby residents to vermiculite asbestos from air released by furnaces processing this asbestos as well as waste being transported to homes.* 

LOUISIANA

Louisiana ranks sixteenth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 13.48 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Louisiana is ranked eighteenth in the country for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 315 deaths between 1999 and 2005, thirty-seven of those in 2005. Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish County ranks nineteenth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 42.1 per million population.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  New Orleans, Louisiana is one of these sites that may have received vermiculite asbestos at any time between 1952 through 1990 when this site ceased operation.* 

 

MAINE

Maine has the highest, both crude and age adjusted, death rates from mesothelioma in the country, with an age adjusted death rate of 21.04 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005 and a crude rate of 23.09.† Maine ranks thirtieth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 173 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-two of those in 2005. Maine also has three counties which are ranked in the top ten counties in the United States with the highest age-adjusted death rates from mesothelioma, one of them being the highest ranked. Sagadahoc County is ranked as the county with the highest age-adjusted death rate from mesotheioma, with a rate of 97.1 per million population between the years 2000 and 2004. Lincoln County and Washington County are ranked sixth and eighth respectively, with age-adjusted death rates of 55.0 and 50.3 per million population respectively, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found Maine’s York County among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In Maine, asbestos was used in power plants paper mills, shipyards and air force bases. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

 

MARYLAND

 

Maryland ranks eighteenth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted death rate of 13.28 per million population.† It is also ranked seventeenth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 369 between the years 1999 and 2005, fourty-nine of those in 2005. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found Maryland’s Anne Arundel County among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In Maryland, asbestos was used in power plants, paper companies and shipyards. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.**  A Beltsville, Maryland vermiculite processing plant operated from 1966 to the early 1990s. During this period over 93,000 tons of vermiculite were processed at this facility owned by W. R. Grace. The ATSDR report noted that “WRG [W.R. Grace] records indicate that former workers were exposed to significant levels of Libby asbestos in air at the Beltsville facility.” The Beltsville, MD facility is located 30 miles from Baltimore, MD and 20 miles from Washington, DC.**

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center’s Division of Oncology conducts mesothelioma clinical trials at its Center for Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Diseases. Former Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, Dr. H. Richard Alexander, Jr. joined the University of Maryland in 2006, bringing with him 16 years of NCI experience and an expertise in peritoneal mesothelioma.  Johns Hopkins University also develops treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients.  

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts ranks tenth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 14.82 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Massachusetts is also ranked tenth in the country for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 567 deaths between 1999 and 2005, eighty-four of those in 2005.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  The site in Easthampton, MA is among those receiving vermiculite asbestos up to 1990 when it ceased operations.*

 

MICHIGAN

 

Michigan ranks twenty-second in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 12.04 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Michigan is ranked ninth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 662 deaths between 1999 and 2005, 104 of those in 2005.† Four counties in Michigan are ranked by the National Center for Health Statistics as being in the forty counties in the U.S. with the highest age-adjusted death rates from mesothelioma. Dickinson county is ranked thirteenth with an age-adjusted rate of forty-seven per million population, Houghton County and Alpena county are ranked twenty-sixth and twenty-ninth respectively with rates of 37.7 and 36.4 respectively, and Mason County is ranked thirty-seventh with an age adjusted death rate of 34.2 per million population between the years 2000 and 2004.

In Michigan, asbestos was used in power plants, shipyards and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  In addition, the taconite found in the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is an “asbestiform” mineral and miners from this part of the state are also at risk for asbestos related diseases.[38]


 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.**  A W. R Grace (WRG) plant in Dearborn, MI was one of the 28 sites studied by ATSDR. This plant received by open rail over 200,000 tons of vermiculite. ATSDR concluded that it “is probable that former workers at the WRG Dearborn facility and their household contacts have an increased risk of developing asbestos-related disease” as a result of their exposure.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has funded research projects at Wayne State University’s Karmanos Cancer Institute

Dr. Michael Harbut is an internationally-know expert in the diagnosis and treatment of environmental and workplace diseases. He serves as Co-Director of the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers at the Karamanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, and Chief of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Harbut has examined many of the U.S. Capitol tunnel workers, finding early signs of asbestosis.    

 

MINNESOTA

 

Minnesota ranks eleventh in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 14.77 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Minnesota is also ranked fifteenth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 401 deaths between 1999 and 2005, fifty-six of those in 2005. Minnesota also has four counties which have been ranked by the National Center for Health Statistics as being among the fifty counties in the United States with the highest age-adjusted death rates from mesothelioma. Koochiching County is ranked as the county with the second highest age-adjusted death rate, with a rate of 77.5 per million population between the years 2000 and 2004. Carlton County is ranked fifth in the nation with an age-adjusted death rate of 55.3 per million population. Martin County is ranked twenty-third with a rate of 38.6, and St. Louis County is ranked fiftieth with a death rate of 31.3 per million population. †  A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found Minnesota’s St. Louis County among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In June 2007, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 58 former miners died from asbestos and mesothelioma between 2003 and 2006, setting off an investigation as to why the information wasn’t released to the public sooner. The University of Minnesota is launching a new study to review mortality records and analyze mineral samples from each of Minnesota’s taconite mines to see if the fibers in the rock resemble asbestos. The final phase of the project will examine the health of living taconite workers and retirees.[43] 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.**  One of the 28 sites is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the former Western Mineral Products processing plant which operated from 1938 – 1989. Workers at the facility were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. In addition, there is concern about community members’ exposure to the ore that was left behind after processing. This waste material was left in piles outside the plant and was free to anyone. In NE Minneapolis, people used the waste rock in their yards, gardens, driveways, barbeques, and other construction projects. Since the fall of 2000, the US EPA has been removing visible Libby asbestos in yards, driveways and alleys at no cost to the homeowner. About 260 residential properties have been identified for clean-up.[45]

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation is funding a research project at the University of Minnesota Medical School directed by Dr. Faris Farassati. 


Minnesota’s Congressman Bruce Vento lost his battle with mesothelioma in October 2000. His exposure to asbestos dated back to his teenage years when he worked in a Minnesota brewery during the summer.

 

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi is ranked thirty-fourth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 115 deaths between 1999 and 2005, 15 of those in 2005. Mississippi’s Jackson County ranks forty-third in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 32.5 per million population.

MISSOURI

 

Missouri ranks thirty-sixth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted death rate of thirty-six per million population.† It is also ranked nineteenth in the nation for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 309 between the years of 1999 and 2005, thirty-one of those in 2005.  In Missouri, asbestos was used in power plants and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  A former W. R. Grace plant in St. Louis, Missouri processed vermiculite from Libby, Montana from the 1940s through 1988. Workers involved in the processing and handling of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite and waste rock were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. More than 139,000 tons of Libby vermiculite were processed at this St. Louis plant during its operation. Community members, the students and faculty of the Gratiot Grade School located one tenth of a mile from the processing facility, and children that played at the facility on raw materials and waste rock may also have been exposed to unknown levels of asbestos.*

 

MONTANA

 

Montana ranks eighth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 15.15 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Montana is ranked forty-first in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 83 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twelve of those in 2005. Montana’s Lincoln County ranks third in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 56.1 per million population.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  Vermiculite mining began in the 1920s and was continued by the W.R. Grace Company from 1963 until 1990.  This vermiculite ore was contaminated with tremolite asbestos.*   

NEBRASKA

 

Nebraska ranks twenty-sixth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 11.42 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Nebraska is ranked thirty-fourth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 115 deaths between 1999 and 2005, seventeen of those in 2005.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products. Workers involved in the processing and handling of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite and waste rock were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.  The facility exfoliated vermiculate to manufacture attic insulation and lightweight concrete aggregate.  The Omaha plant processed more than 165,000 tons of Libby vermiculite from 1967 to 1991; records are unavailable for the time period before 1967.  The Omaha vermiculite exfoliation facility was closed in 1989.

 

NEVADA 

Nevada ranks twenty-ninth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 10.34 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Nevada is ranked eighteenth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 110 deaths between 1999 and 2005, eleven of those in 2005.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire ranks fifteenth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 14.10 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† New Hampshire is ranked thirty-ninth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with ninety-six deaths between 1999 and 2005, ten of those in 2005.

NEW JERSEY

 

New Jersey ranks fifth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a death rate of 16.33 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.†   New Jersey ranks eighth in the nation for numbers of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 814 between the years of 1999 and 2005, 140 of those in 2005. New Jersey’s Gloucester County ranked thirty fourth in the nation for counties with the highest age-adjusted rates, with a rate of 34.8 per million population, and S. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors note that New Jersey’s Somerset County is among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† † This rank is supported by the National Center for Health Statistics who also ranks Somerset county as twentieth in the nation with an age-adjusted rate of 41.0 per million between the years 1999 and 2005.

In New Jersey, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries and shipbuilding. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  In addition, the Johns-Manville Corporation, a manufacturer of asbestos products in NJ, exposed large numbers of people to asbestos. Some contracted mesothelioma as well as other asbestos-related diseases. 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  Two of the twenty eight sites are located in New Jersey. A former gypsum wallboard manufacturer located in Edison, New Jersey used Libby vermiculite from 1967 – 1968. A W. R. Grace plant located near Trenton, NJ processed over 350,000 tons of Libby vermiculite from 1948-1994. Workers at this plan were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. Soil at the site was contaminated at levels requiring remediation. In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed the first phase of soil removal at the site. Further remediation is planned to remove additional contaminated soil.[54]

 

NEW MEXICO  

New Mexico ranks thirty-second in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 9.90 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† New Mexico is ranked thirty-eighth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 98 deaths between 1999 and 2005, seventeen of those in 2005.

NEW YORK

 

New York ranks thirty-fourth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with a rate of 9.65 between 1999 and 2005.†New York ranks fourth in the nation for mesothelioma death numbers, with 1,051 between the years 1999 and 2005, 158 of those in 2005. New York’s Niagara and Cattaraugus Counties have ranked thirty-sixth and forty-eighth, respectively, in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rates. Niagara County had an age-adjusted rate of 34.3 per million and Cattaraugus County had an age-adjusted rate of 31.5 per million population. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found New York’s Niagara County among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In New York, asbestos was used in power plants, breweries, ship yards and aircraft manufacturers. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  The former Zonolite Company/W.R. Grace facility located near the town of Weedsport operated from 1963 until 1989 during which time it processed over 148,000 tons of vermiculite from Libby. In testing conducted in 2001, elevated levels of asbestos were found in soil samples in the surrounding areas. Investigators believe that soils were contaminated as a result of waste disposal practices and when material fell to the ground during the unloading of vermiculite ore from the freight trains that delivered it for processing.**

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has funded research projects in New York at such leading institutions as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Dr. Harvey Pass, Professor of Surgery and Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology and NYU School of Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center, has studied pleural mesothelioma since 1988 when he was a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. In 2005, he co-edited Malignant Mesothelioma the leading research clinical textbook on the subject. Dr. Pass serves on the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s Board of Directors. Dr. Robert N. Taub, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Program Director at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, is a medical oncologist who directs the Connective Tissue Oncology Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, where there are a number of ongoing pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma studies. Dr. Taub is a member of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation’s Science Advisory Board. 

 

NORTH CAROLINA 

North Carolina is ranked sixteenth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 390 deaths between 1999 and 2005, sixty-five of those in 2005.

 

NORTH DAKOTA

 

North Dakota ranks twenty-seventh in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 11.41 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† North Dakota is ranked forty-seventh in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with forty-six deaths between 1999 and 2005, eight of those in 2005.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  The facility in Minot, North Dakota operated from 1945 through 1983 and processed over 16,000 tons of vermiculite between 1967 and 1983.  This vermiculite was "popped" or expanded to manufacture insulation.  It is recorded that over 9,400 people lived within one mile of the site in 1990.  The EPA has since cleaned the building and the surrounding sol as it contained levels of asbestos over the regulation limits.*

OHIO

 

Ohio is ranked seventh in the country for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 834 deaths between 1999 and 2005, 108 of those in 2005. and ranks fifth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics.†  The Centers for Disease Control compiles mortality data by county for mesothelioma and other diseases. In 1999 three Ohio counties (Cuyahoga, Butler and Jefferson) ranked in the top fifty for counties with the highest age-adjusted mortality rate for mesothelioma in the entire nation.† Ohio’s Preble County ranks fortieth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age-adjusted death rate of 33.6 per million population.

In Ohio, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding and at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  The Scotts Company, located approximately 30 miles from Columbus, Ohio processed Libby vermiculite from 1967 – 1989. This facility was the single largest consumer of vermiculite ore from the Libby mines in the United States, according to EPA records. Approximately 430,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite were shipped to this facility. Workers were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. Several health studies have been conducted or are underway to monitor former workers at this plant.* 

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has provided funding to Dr. Gregory Otterson at the Ohio Statue University Research Foundation, in Columbus, OH.

 

 

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma is ranked thirty-second in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 168 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-seven of those in 2005. Oklahoma’s Delaware County ranks thirtieth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age-adjusted death rate of 35.7 per million population.

OREGON

 

Oregon ranks ninth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 15.08 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Oregon is ranked twentieth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 303 deaths between 1999 and 2005, thirty-nine of those in 2005. Oregon’s Union Parish County ranks fifteenth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 45.5 per million population.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.  Two of these plants are located in Portland, Oregon.  The Suttle Road location is known to produce both South African and Libby vermiculite through the early 1990's.  This site is currently operating.*

PENNSYLVANIA

 

Pennsylvania ranks twelfth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 14.63 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation for number of deaths due to asbestos and mesothelioma with 1,211 between the years 1999 and 2005, with 201 in the year 2005. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found Pennsylvania’s Delaware County among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In Pennsylvania, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  Two of the twenty-eight priority sites are located in Pennsylvania: one in Ellwood City and the second in New Castle. Workers at both Pennsylvania sites were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos. In 2005, the ATSDR reopened its investigation of the Ellwood City, Pennsylvania site based on concerns expressed by community residents about the risks posed to children at a playground that was located near where vermiculite waste was disposed of. The Ellwood City facility had processed Libby vermiculite from 1954-1969. ATSDR researchers were told that “children played in and around the waste vermiculite piles at the site and slid down the adjacent embankments where vermiculite waste was reportedly dumped when the plant was operating. Community members reported that the shiny vermiculite material covered the playground area.”*  A New Castle, Pennsylvania facility processed more than 172,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite between 1969–1992.    Based on asbestos readings in soil and interior air sampling by the W. R. Grace and the Environmental Protection Agency, a remediation plan was implemented in 2004. 7891 tons of asbestos-contaminated soils were excavated at the site to reduce risk.*

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has funded research projects in Pennsylvania at such leading institutions as the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2006, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health awarded researchers at the University of Pittsburgh a grant to develop a Mesothelioma Virtual Bank. The Department of Biomedical Informatics is at the University of Pittsburgh is one of the innovators in the field of informatics. It has shown extensive expertise in developing efficient, robust, and intuitive tools for tissue banking to support the research community. 

Dr. Joseph R. Testa, a leading cancer geneticist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. His research focuses on understanding the biological and molecular implications of chromosome abnormalities in malignant mesothelioma, serves on the Foundation’s Science Advisory Board. His laboratory has discovered consistent alterations of certain cancer genes in this malignancy. 

Dr. Steven Albelda is the William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. His is also Associate Director of the Pulmonary Division, Director of Lung Research and Co-Director of the Thoracic Oncology Laboratories. As one of the leading researchers in mesothelioma gene therapy, the Foundation is pleased he is a member of the Science Advisory Board. 

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island ranks twenty-first in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 12.39 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Rhode Island is ranked forty-first in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 83 deaths between 1999 and 2005, sixteen of those in 2005.

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina is ranked twenty-sixth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 200 deaths between 1999 and 2005, twenty-three of those in 2005.

SOUTH DAKOTA  

South Dakota ranks forty-third in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 8.7 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† South Dakota is ranked forty-eighth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with forty-one deaths between 1999 and 2005, seven of those in 2005.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee ranks forty-first in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 8.83 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Tennessee is ranked twenty-first in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 283 deaths between 1999 and 2005, thirty-seven of those in 2005.

TEXAS

 

Texas ranks thirty-third in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 9.70 per million between 1999 and 2005.†  Texas also ranks fifth in the nation for total mesothelioma deaths between the years 199 and 2005 with a total of 942, 152 of those in 2005. In Texas, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † The three counties of Tyler, Orange, and Hill rank sixteenth, twenty-fourth, and forty-seventh, respectively, in the nation for age-adjusted rates of asbestos and mesothelioma deaths. Tyler county had a rate of 44.7 per million, Orange had a rate of 38.4 per million, and Hill had a rate of 31.7 per million according the National Center for Health Statistics. 

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.*  A Dallas facility operated by W. R. Grace processed more than 396,900 tons of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite between 1967 – 1992. In addition to the hazards workers were exposed to from the Libby vermiculite, some of the fireproofing materials produced at this facility also used another type of asbestos (chrysolite). Workers involved in both production and waste removal at the site were exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos.*

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been instrumental in providing seed money for research into mesothelioma when almost no other research funds for the cancer were available. The Foundation has funded research projects in Texasa the Institute for Drug Development Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Scott White Memorial Hospital at Texas A&M University in Temple, Texas.

Dr. W. Roy Smythe is a leading gene therapy researcher and thoracic surgeon at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center who has extensive experience treating mesothelioma patients.  He is Chairman of the Scott and White Hospital’s Department of Surgery and head of the Department of Surgery.  

 

UTAH

Utah ranks twenty-fifth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 11.78 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Utah is ranked thirty-seventh in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 107 deaths between 1999 and 2005, fourteen of those in 2005. Utah’s Tooele County ranks fourteenth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 46.9 per million population.

VERMONT

Vermont ranks thirty-fifth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 9.38 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Vermont is ranked forty-ninth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with thirty-four deaths between 1999 and 2005, five of those in 2005. Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish County ranks nineteenth in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 42.1 per million population.

VIRGINIA 

Virginia ranks thirteenth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 14.46 per million between the years of 1999 and 2005.†  Virginia is ranked twelfth in the nation for mesothelioma death rates between the years of 1999 and 2005, with a total number of 534, seventy-eight of those in 2005. According to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, Virginia has the most counties country wide, within the top fifty mesothelioma age-adjusted death rates, with a total of eight counties. Newport News City ranks ninth in the nation with a rate of 49.2 per million, York County ranks twelfth with a rate of 47.2 per million, and Isle of Wight County ranks eighteenth with a rate of 42.8 per million. Portsmouth City is ranked twenty-first, Gloucester County is ranked twenty-seventh, Augusta County is ranked thirty-eighth, James City County is ranked thirty-ninth, and Chesapeake City is ranked forty-fourth. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found three Virginia counties (Portsmouth City, Chesapeake City and Chesterfield) among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† †   

In Virginia, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

 

WASHINGTON

 

Washington ranks thirteenth in the nation in the mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 17.95 per million between 1999 and 2005.†  Washington ranks eleventh in the nation for numbers of mesothelioma deaths with a total of 534 between the years 1999 and 2005, with ninety-three of those in 2005.  Studies found that three of Washington’s counties (Kitsap, Mason, and Franklin) were among the thirty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates, with rates of 48.0, 39.6, and 37.4 respectively. A study published in 2006 in the International Journal of Occupational Environmental Health looked at geographic distributions of malignant mesothelioma in the United States by county. The authors found two Washington counties (Kitsap and Pierce) among the twenty counties in the country with the highest malignant mesothelioma rates.† † 

In Washington, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries, shipbuilding, aluminum manufacturing and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† †  According to renowned mesothelioma pathologist Samuel Hammar, the city of Bremerton has the highest per capita mesothelioma rate in the country, because of its shipyard.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services has identified 28 sites across the country of primary concern where they have concluded that workers and others were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. This asbestos was contained in vermiculite mined in Libby, Montana and shipped to more than 200 locations across the country for processing into insulation, horticultural products, masonry fill and other consumer products.* The Vermiculite NW plant in Spokane, WA was investigated by ATSDR. They found reports that conditions inside the operating vermiculite facility were extremely dusty, and workers were exposed to asbestos in air that exceeded current occupational standards. All indoor air samples taken in 1972 and 1973 exceeded the current OSHA PEL by 4 to 500 times. One Vermiculite NW worker, himself diagnosed with asbestosis, spoke of other former workers who have died because of lung disease. Newspaper articles have also reported that Vermiculite NW workers may have developed respiratory disease, with one dying of mesothelioma 36 years after working at the Spokane plant for only 23 months.  Recent on-site soil samples revealed detectable levels of asbestos, and off-site samples showed trace levels of asbestos.*

Dr. Eric Vallieres is the Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Program at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle. His main interests are combined modality approaches to thoracic malignancies and clinical trials. Since 1997, he has led the combined modality efforts to the treatment of mesothelioma in Seattle in the Northwest. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.

 

WEST VIRGINIA

 

West Virginia ranks seventh in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 15.19 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† West Virginia is ranked twenty-ninth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with 182 deaths between 1999 and 2005, thirty-three of those in 2005. West Virginia’s Mason County, and Hancock County rank fourth and twenty-fifth respectively in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with age adjusted death rates of 55.6 per million population and 38 per million population respectively.

The Centers for Disease Control compiles mortality data by county for mesothelioma and other diseases. In 1999 Kanawha County, West Virginia ranked eighth in the entire nation for counties with the highest age-adjusted mortality rate for mesothelioma.** 

In West Virginia, asbestos was used in power plants, chemical processing and other industrial facilities. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.† † 

 

WISCONSIN

 

Wisconsin ranks fourteenth in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 14.42 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Wisconsin is ranked thirteenth in the country for number of deaths from asbestos and mesothelioma with 448 deaths between 1999 and 2005, sixty of those in 2005. Wisconsin’s Polk and Kenosha County rank thirty-third and thirty-fifth respectively in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with age adjusted death rates of 34.8 per million population and 34.4 per million population respectively.

In Wisconsin, asbestos was used in power plants, refineries and paper mills. Workers in certain occupations like these are likely to have an elevated risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.††

WYOMING

 

Wyoming ranks third in the nation in mortality rate for mesothelioma according to data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics, with an age-adjusted rate of 18.45 per million population between the years 1999 and 2005.† Wyoming is ranked forty-sixth in the country for number of deaths from mesothelioma with fifty deaths between 1999 and 2005, six of those in 2005. Natrona’s County ranks forty-second in the country for the counties with the highest mesothelioma death rate, with an age adjusted death rate of 32.9 per million population.

 


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