According to the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has the highest estimated number of deaths related to asbestos in the state between 1999 and 2013. The 1,616 asbestos-related deaths average out to 107 deaths each year during that time period. That puts the death rate per 100,000 people in Allegheny County at 8.6.
We've discussed the dangers of asbestos before, especially for individuals who work with or around the substance. When breathed in, asbestos can lead to serious illness or injury, including certain forms of cancer. But where might you be at risk of exposure to asbestos?
It's easy to think of asbestos as something that is no longer a real problem, as if it's outdated and taken care of, but the reality is that it still causes many deaths every year. What's more, studies have shown that the rate of death from asbestos in Allegheny County is well above the national average, meaning that Pennsylvania residents are at an elevated risk.
Asbestos poses a serious risk to the health of those who are regularly and consistently exposed to it, and while we may know this now, the health risks of asbestos were not always so well-documented. It was not until 1989 that new uses of asbestos were banned in our country, but for people who were working around asbestos in that time, the ban may have come too late. Injury or death due to asbestos exposure may have already begun.