While asbestos use in the United States has been slowly declining over the last few decades, other developed and developing countries around the world continue to utilize the substance in many different ways. Because of this use, Italian researchers say that mesothelioma has reached epidemic proportions in different areas of the world, mostly Europe and Oceania.
Ultimately, researchers found that the asbestos-related disease "does not show signs of attenuation." The researchers also claimed that there is a lack of data being collected to accurately determine the future impact of the disease around the world.
Mesothelioma is a debilitating and often fatal form of cancer, whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos. Often affecting the respiratory system of an individual, it can be years or decades before symptoms arise. The long latency period makes a future epidemic even more likely, as asbestos is imported to developing countries like India, every day.
The report was published by the Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Source: Bianchi, C and Bianchi, T, "Global mesothelioma epidemic: Trend and features", Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine", December 12, 2014, pp. 82-88. http://www.ijoem.com/article.asp?issn=0019-5278;year=2014;volume=18;issue=2;spage=82;epage=88;aulast=Bianchi