Nearly thirty years after the Italian government took action to ban the use of asbestos, researchers from the University of Pavia have determined that – as of yet – the ban has had no impact on the incidence of malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma First Hitting Its Peak in Italy
Rather than finding that the ban on the use of asbestos has led to a decline in mesothelioma, study author Dr. Enrico Oddone of the Occupational Medicine Unit Maugeri, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine at the University of Pavia writes, “The MPM epidemic in Italy is still far from being concluded. Our results suggest that the number of MPM cases is still increasing.”
Italy is not the only European country to ban the use of asbestos. In fact, over 60 countries have taken the same action, leaving the United States behind in efforts to put a permanent stop to asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Unfortunately, between the disease’s long latency period and the fact that once it is in place, it is very difficult to get rid of asbestos, there is an expectation that there will continue to be people dying of mesothelioma for a very long time.
Study Concludes That A Cure For Mesothelioma Is Essential
In reviewing their findings about mesothelioma’s continued incidence, the study’s authors have concluded that a ban on the use of asbestos will have less effect than finding a cure for the rare and fatal form of cancer. Roughly 100,000 people die of asbestos-related illnesses every year, and Italy is expected to lose another 7,000 people to mesothelioma in the next few years.
In its conclusion, the scientists pain a dark picture of future incidence of mesothelioma deaths, writing, “Several industrialized countries that banned asbestos a long time ago are now just approaching the peak of MPM cases. In other countries, where the widespread use of asbestos was common until recently or is still occurring, the increase in MPM incidence is expected to last for many decades.”
If you are one of the many people who have been harmed by exposure to asbestos, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.