HC Deb 08 November 1995 vol 265 cc974-5W
Dr. Wright

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of deaths wholly or partly attributable to asbestos-related disease that are expected in each year until 2030. [41886]

Sir Paul Beresford

I have been asked to reply.

The estimated number of males dying annually from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in 10 years' time could range from between 1,300 and 2,100; in 20 years' time between 1,300 and 3,000 and in 30 years' time between 1,000 and 3,200. These estimates are based on a paper: "The continuing increase in mesothelioma mortality in Britain" which was published in The Lancet on 3 March 1995. This paper discusses the uncertainties attached to the projections, which increase very significantly beyond about 2010. It is therefore inappropriate to forecast a figure for each separate year. Projected figures for females are not available.

Currently, there are estimated to be one or two deaths from asbestos-related lung cancer for each death from mesothelioma. The falling prevalence of smoking is likely to reduce this ratio in the future.