Projections of asbestos associated cancer mortality in the United States during the 25 year period 1985-2009 were made based on previously published estimates. These estimates were reviewed for malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and gastrointestinal cancers. Particular attention was given to the assumptions used in the original derivation of the estimates. For malignant mesothelioma mortality, previous estimates ranged from 15,500 to 300,000. Using recently published data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results project, coupled with the previously published estimates, projected asbestos related malignant mesothelioma mortality in the United States for the period 1985-2009 was estimated to be 21,500. For lung cancer, previous estimates were reviewed, particularly with regard to the ratio of deaths from lung cancer to deaths from malignant mesothelioma. Using these ratios, a range of projected deaths was established and a median of those estimates used as a project, which was 76,700 such deaths in the United States between 1985 and 2009. Gastrointestinal cancer mortality has been projected by only three investigators. A median of those estimates (33,000) was used. In conclusion it is estimated that 131,200 deaths from asbestos associated cancer will occur in the United States between 1985 and 2009.
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