Despite the overall decreased use of asbestos nationwide, mesothelioma
deaths among women still managed to increase by 25% over the past two
decades. This according to death record statistics published by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Homemakers, followed by healthcare workers and educators accounted for
the largest proportion of deaths by industry among the women. Unlike mesothelioma
mortality among men which is 85% attributable to work-related asbestos
exposure, the women’s industries are not typically associated with
asbestos exposure. Leading the CDC to hypothesize that women are being
exposed in other ways such as take-home exposures by family members employed
in an asbestos-related industry or by being present during maintenance
and renovation projects at their workplace or home.
Surprisingly, the CDC made no mention of
cosmetic talc being a culprit in mesothelioma mortality, which has disproportionately
The public health implications of this data highlight the unique risks
facing women and asbestos and the precautions that should be taken to
For more information, please
read the CDC report.