The statistics on asbestos exposure are sobering. In a 2004 report by the American Thoracic Society, asbestos exposure was cited as the leading cause of occupational cancer (cancer caused entirely or partially by exposure to carcinogens at work) in the United States. Deaths related to asbestos exposure
are likely to surpass 200,000 within the next fifteen to eighteen years. The dangers of asbestos exposure to the American worker are not limited to cancer. Depending on the frequency and duration of exposure, asbestos fiber inhalation results in significant numbers of diseases and impairments in the national workforce every year.
The pleural plaques visible on this woman’s lungs were caused by asbestos exposure.