Does age affect mesothelioma risk

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2020 | mesothelioma

If you are young, you might assume you are less likely to get mesothelioma than your parents or grandparents. The statistics show that most people diagnosed are aged 60 or over, and deaths from mesothelioma increase with age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at data from 1999 to 2015 for people with malignant mesothelioma. They found 138 deaths of people between the ages of 25 and 34, rising to 16,914 for the 75 to 84 age group.

Since people are now aware of the dangers of asbestos, there is less risk of coming into contact with it than in the time of your parents. However, certain sectors continue to use asbestos. For instance, Johnson & Johnson only recently removed it from their talc for babies. If you work in the building trade, you may be required to renovate or carry out maintenance on old houses full of asbestos. If you work as a classic car mechanic, again, you may come into contact with it through your job.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the statistics appear to show mesothelioma affects older people more is that the disease takes time to present itself. The CDC says it takes between 20 and 71 years from someone’s first exposure to asbestos for the disease to develop. So the older you are, the more likely there has been time for any exposure to build up and show. 

It is not only workers who can come into contact with asbestos. When they go home, they could contaminate their families too. Imagine an electrician who goes home and hugs his children after working to rewire an old office block that had asbestos present. Years from now, one of those children may present signs of mesothelioma.

If you or a family member contract mesothelioma, seek legal help to understand your options.