HSE Report Highlights Continued Decline in Mesothelioma Deaths in 2021

Mesothelioma, a cancer characterized by its long latency period following asbestos exposure, has been subject for concern for years, due to its rapid progression upon symptom onset.

Over the past five decades, annual mesothelioma-related deaths in Britain have steadily risen, mainly due to past occupational asbestos exposures, particularly between 1950 and 1980.

However, recently published data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed a further decrease in mesothelioma-related deaths in Great Britain for the year 2021. This decline represents a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against this deadly cancer, primarily associated with asbestos exposure.

The latest statistics, featured in the 2023 Health and Safety Statistics report, offer valuable insights into the changing landscape of mesothelioma cases.
Key Findings:
According to the HSE report, a total of 2,268 mesothelioma-related deaths were reported in Great Britain in 2021. This number represents a decrease of 302 fatalities compared to the previous year’s figure of 2,570. Notably, the 2021 count is lower than the average of 2,520 deaths annually recorded between 2012 and 2019.

The impact of COVID-19?
Experts suggest that the substantial reduction in deaths in 2021 aligns with earlier projections, which anticipated a gradual decline in annual fatalities throughout the 2020s. However, the data for 2020 and 2021 show fluctuations that can be attributed to various factors associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, such as the direct effects of COVID-19 on individuals with mesothelioma and the impact in death recording and certification systems.

Vulnerability in Construction Industry:
The report also highlights the continued vulnerability of men employed in the construction industry during the period of extensive asbestos use, owing to their increased likelihood of asbestos exposure.

Additional information including the full HSE report can be found on the HSE website.