Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be pulled into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible yet resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. These qualities make the mineral useful, but they also make asbestos exposure highly toxic. More than 39,000 American lives are lost to asbestos-related disease every year. Asbestos facts and statistics summarize the devastating impact the toxic mineral has had in the U.S. and around the world.

Asbestos Exposure Facts

  • Asbestos has been banned in more than 60 countries, but not in the U.S.
  • Asbestos exposure is the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths in the world.
  • Approximately 90,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases globally each year.
  • An estimated 125 million people worldwide remain at risk of occupational exposure to asbestos.
  • About 1.3 million U.S. workers in construction and general industry are at risk of exposure today.

Types of Asbestos

The term asbestos refers to six fibrous minerals that occur naturally throughout the world.

  • Chrysotile
  • Tremolite
  • Crocidolite
  • Amosite
  • Anthophyllite

Who Is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?

People who worked with asbestos products are the most at risk of exposure. Occupations that presented the greatest risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Miners
  • Millers
  • Insulators
  • Boilermakers
  • Auto mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Firefighters
  • Construction workers
  • Industrial workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Power plant workers

Diseases Caused by Exposure to Asbestos

Countless scientific studies have proven exposure to asbestos causes cancerous and noncancerous diseases.

Asbestos-Related Cancers

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer

Noncancerous Conditions

  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pleuritis
  • Diffuse pleural thickening
  • Atelectasis

Statistics About Asbestos

  • Global asbestos production fell from 2.1 million tons in 2012 to 1.4 million tons in 2015.
  • In 2018, the U.S. chemical industry quadrupled its importation of asbestos compared to the year before.
  • A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported that for every 20 tons of asbestos produced and consumed a person dies of an asbestos-related disease somewhere in the world.
  • More than 2 million tons of asbestos is currently consumed each year throughout the world.
  • Around 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.
  • Asbestos exposure causes at least 90 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
  • From 1999-2010, approximately 6,300 Americans lost their lives to asbestosis.
  • A study published in 2017 claimed the annual global death rate caused by asbestos exposure is around 237,000.
  • A 2018 study reported asbestos-related diseases killed 39,275 people in the U.S. and 222,321 people throughout the world in 2016.

Asbestos Statistics


Asbestos Testing in Central Oregon

Bend Asbestos offers accredited asbestos inspectors for residential and commercial customers throughout Central Oregon including Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Sisters, La Pine and the surrounding area.  We provide asbestos testing,  asbestos surveys and AHERA surveys as a service to keep your family safe.