New HSE Figures Show Areas With The Highest Mesothelioma Cases

Mesothelioma Cases Across the UK
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Written by: Jessica Lee Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott Updated: In: Industrial Disease

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has recently published the annual figures for Mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos. HSE’s figures show that 2,544 people died from the disease in 2020. This is in line with the average of 2,523 deaths over the previous eight years. Most of the current mesothelioma deaths are because of exposure that occurred before the 1980s. With asbestos levels dropping since the 1980s, experts expect there to be a decline during the next decade.

Male and Female Mesothelioma Cases
Male and female mesothelioma deaths 1981-2020.

Areas with the Highest Mesothelioma Cases

The data provided by the HSE also includes the geographical locations of areas where deaths occurring to mesothelioma happened from 1981 to 2020. The locations collected are the last places of residence on the death certificates. The data is based on the Standardised Mortality Ratios (SMRs). This compares the mortality rate in a particular area with the mortality rate for Great Britain, taking into account age difference.

The findings show that the areas with the highest mortality rates tend to be those that contain large industrial sites such as shipyards and asbestos product factories.

The geographical areas with the highest male mesothelioma death rates for the period 1981-2020 were:

  • Barrow-in-Furness (297 deaths)
  • West Dunbartonshire (295 deaths)
  • North Tyneside (564 deaths)
  • South Tyneside (421 deaths)

    Male Mesothelioma Cases
    Statistical significance of mesothelioma SMRs for females by geographical area 1981-2020

Geographical areas with the highest female mesothelioma deaths for the period 1981-2020 were:

  • Barking and Dagenham (88 deaths)
  • Sunderland (158 deaths)
  • Newham (78 deaths)
  • West Dunbartonshire (41 deaths)
  • Leeds (281 deaths)
  • Barrow-in-Furness (30 deaths)

Followed by Havering, Basildon, Blackburn with Darwen and Castle Point.

Female Mesothelioma Cases
Statistical significance of mesothelioma SMRs for females by geographical area 1981-2020.

Mesothelioma mortality statistics by geographical area for Great Britain in 2022 were:

  • Portsmouth (421 deaths)
  • Plymouth (611 deaths)

Followed by Medway, Hartlepool, Southampton, and Gosport.

The Results of HSE’s Annual Figures for Mesothelioma Cases

As in line with previous geographical analysis of mesothelioma deaths, the results presented here show that areas with the highest excess of mesothelioma in males tend to be those containing industrial sites known to have been associated with high asbestos exposure in the past such as shipyards.

However, the occupational analyses suggest that asbestos exposures in the construction industry account for a substantial proportion of mesothelioma deaths. Therefore, it is less likely to associate these exposures with specific geographical areas. Instead, they are likely to have taken place over a wide range of areas. Most areas associated with shipbuilding activity tend to have much higher SMRs for early time periods rather than later periods. However, there are some exceptions. Mesothelioma rates in these areas tend to have risen more slowly over time than the overall rate for Great Britain. This may reflect the effect of risks being diluted due to the migration of those exposed in an industry that has declined substantially into lower-risk areas. It may also suggest that annual mesothelioma death rates arising from such exposures may have peaked earlier than those arising from other sources of exposure.

The Future of Mesothelioma Cases

Despite the high amount of mesothelioma cases, Great Britain still remains one of the safest places in the world to work with the number of workplace deaths and injuries falling significantly in recent years.

HSE’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon states: “While Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world to work, today’s figures show we must continue to ensure safety remains a priority. Every loss of life is a tragedy, and we are committed to making workplaces safer and holding employers to account for their actions, as part of our mission to protect people and places.”

How Can Our Mesothelioma Solicitors Help?

At AWH, our experienced mesothelioma solicitors can assist you to make a claim on behalf of yourself or a close relative who has recently passed away from mesothelioma. Your mesothelioma solicitor will provide compassionate and dedicated legal guidance, making sure that sufferers and their families are fully compensated for the impact of mesothelioma. Our mesothelioma solicitors help families with claiming for:

  • Mental anguish from the loss of friendship, comfort, and support.
  • Expected loss of income from losing your loved one.
  • Expected loss of protection, care, and assistance.
  • Any medical treatment and care for the person who has sadly passed away.

It’s common for a mesothelioma diagnosis to come in the later stages of the disease. As a result, many sufferers choose not to pursue mesothelioma claims over concerns that the process will take too long. However, it is important to note that claims for mesothelioma sufferers are usually fast-tracked through the courts. Therefore, our mesothelioma solicitors will work hard to build and pursue your compensation claim as quickly as possible, allowing you to access the financial support you require quickly.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we could help you with a mesothelioma claim.

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