Following a significant and troubling rise in mesothelioma deaths among women in their late 40s to mid-60s, trade unions in the United Kingdom have ordered a study of the presence of asbestos in the country’s school buildings. There is concern that the increase may be statistically significant among teachers who were exposed to the material.
Data Reveals 40% Increased Rate of Mesothelioma in Female Former Teachers
It has long been known that asbestos is present in schools in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and previous studies have indicated that female former teachers in the UK have a 40% increased rate of mesothelioma. According to the Health and Safety Executive, there were more than 5,000 asbestos-related deaths across the entire population in 2019, and many of those were among teachers born between 1955 and 1974.
In response to the statistically significant rise in mesothelioma among teachers, the trade unions are partnering with cancer expert Professor Julian Peto to examine samples of lung tissue taken from teachers who have undergone operations to assess their exposure to asbestos.
Cancer Expert Cites Concerning Rise in UK Mesothelioma Deaths
Speaking of the rise in mesothelioma deaths, Professor Leto said, “Most teachers born since 1955 began work after the 1970s – when asbestos was no longer being installed in schools – so their exposures were from the asbestos already installed, much of which is still there. The question is what the continuing risk is, and what should be done to reduce it.”
“The updated data for 2011-2020 now shows an excess in female teachers born 1955-74 (19 mesothelioma deaths, versus 12.3 expected), which borders on statistical significance, although the numbers are still too small to give a reliable estimate of the continuing risk. We would like to study this important question. The lifetime mesothelioma risk can be predicted from these asbestos levels in lungs.”
Asbestos continues to be a risk worldwide. If you or someone you love has been affected by an asbestos-related disease, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet