Why have mesothelioma deaths increased among women?

Aug 2, 2022 | Mesothelioma

Most people think of mesothelioma as a disease that mostly strikes men. That’s understandable since it’s often caused by exposure to asbestos in predominantly male-dominated professions like construction, shipyard work, manufacturing and auto repair. 

People who work in these industries are less likely to be exposed to asbestos today than in past decades. Further, those who have to work around asbestos have much stricter safety protocols, including extensive protective gear.

Are women catching up to men in contracting mesothelioma? Some statistics based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data have been reported recently that has researchers wondering. Between 1999 to 2020, mesothelioma fatalities among women rose by 25% for a total of more than 12,000.

How were they exposed to asbestos?

So what did these women do for a living? Here’s what researchers found:

  • Health care and social services: 16%   
  • Education services: 11%
  • Manufacturing: 9%

Coming in higher than all of these, at nearly 25% were “homemakers.”

Since most of these women didn’t work in “high-risk” industries, how were they exposed? Researchers suspect that they had lived or worked in buildings that contained dangerous amounts of asbestos. It used to be a widespread problem in older school buildings prior to the enactment of strict regulations. 

Some could also have had second-hand exposure through contact with a family member like a husband or father who brought it home on their clothing, footwear, hair and body before the greater safety protocols were implemented. It should be noted that most of the women who succumbed to mesothelioma were over 55.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, it’s important to work to get compensation to seek necessary care and treatment. Having legal guidance can help you explore your options.

FindLaw Network