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Study says asbestos-related debts are underestimated

Some Louisville workers may suffer health problems, including cancer, as a result of asbestos exposure. According to a study from the International Commission of Occupational Health, the number of deaths resulting from asbestos exposure have been underestimated both in the United States and throughout the world.

The estimate is that in 2016, more than 39,000 people in the United States and over 222,000 people worldwide died because of asbestos exposure. These estimates are more than two times higher than those commonly cited by government and nongovernmental health agencies. The study results appeared in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The president of the ICOH said he believed the disparity was because the study did a better job of identifying which lung cancers were linked to asbestos exposure.

While mesothelioma is the form of lung cancer that is best known as related to asbestos, it can cause other types of lung cancer as well. However, because it can be difficult to determine a cause, many doctors will simply attribute a case of lung cancer to smoking. In fact, according to ICOH, there are six cases of asbestos-caused lung cancer for every one case of mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure also causes ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer and a condition known as asbestosis. Despite these dangers, asbestos is still only banned in 62 countries.

Some people who develop mesothelioma may have been exposed to asbestos on the job while others may have been exposed in school or even at home. Mesothelioma can be a devastating disease that leaves families with significant medical expenses. The same is true of other diseases related to asbestos exposure. A person who dies of mesothelioma or one of these other conditions may also leave dependents behind. People who have been harmed as a result may want to talk to an attorney about getting compensation.

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