Mesothelioma is a difficult disease to track on a global level. This is because it can be elusive to some medical professionals with less-advanced resources and because there is often a lack of data, among other reasons. Although the true risks of asbestos exposure may be difficult to precisely pinpoint, Italian researchers are suggesting there is strong evidence that mesothelioma rates are increasing in many different countries.
The study – published in the Indian Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine – was conducted by researchers from the Center for the Study of Environmental Cancer in Italy. It is centered on data of mesothelioma rates in Europe, Oceania, and parts of Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
According to researchers, the following countries reported the highest rates of mesothelioma (based on available data):
All of these countries, except New Zealand, have prohibited the use of asbestos. Other countries that have banned asbestos, including the U.S. and several European nations, have seen intermediate mesothelioma rates. Researchers noted that a lack of data from larger countries that have not banned asbestos – Russia, China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil – makes precise findings about incidence rates on a global level difficult.
Ultimately, the researchers suggest that global asbestos consumption rates in the past decades may predict that mesothelioma rates will be on the rise and will impact larger geographical areas. They also factor in mesothelioma’s long latency period – 15 – 60 years – in suggesting the rise in mesothelioma rates.