Western New York’s Asbestos Mortality Rate Is Far Above the National Average

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Did you know that Western New York is one of the worst affected areas in the United States for asbestos exposure? Based on its comprehensive review of the relevant federal data, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund concluded that the greater Buffalo region has endured an asbestos-related mortality rate that is nearly twice the national average. Three counties in Western New York are the most highly affected counties in the entire state. Below, our mesothelioma lawyers provide a more detailed overview of the data published by the nonprofit organization.

The Data: Buffalo Region Suffers Elevated Impact From Asbestos Exposure

The Environmental Working Group’s research estimates that approximately 1,000 people per year pass away in New York state as the result of prior asbestos exposure. While every county in New York has seen at least one asbestos-related fatality since 1999, the impact is not spread evenly across the state. Here are the asbestos-related mortality rates per 100,000 people for our region:

  • Niagara County: 14.5
  • Cattaraugus County: 11.6
  • Erie County: 8.6
  • Orleans County: 7.3
  • Monroe County: 5.6
  • Chautauqua County: 5.4
  • Genesee County: 5.3
  • Wyoming County: 5.3

Over the same period of time, the New York state mortality was 4.4 and the national average was 4.9. In other words, Western New York suffers a highly disproportionate impact from asbestos exposure. On a population adjusted basis, Niagara County has suffered nearly three times more asbestos-related deaths than the country as a whole. To put that into perspective, that puts Niagara County in the top two percent of American counties most highly impacted by asbestos exposure.

A Likely Consequence of Previous Industrial Concentration

In tracing the history of asbestos, environmental and public health researchers focus on the history of industrial concentration in Western New York in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Mesothelioma and other lung cancers can take decades to manifest. As an example, the now abandoned Lackawanna Steel Company in the southern part of Erie County was once among the largest steel producing factories on the planet. Asbestos exposure was an issue at this facility.

Even though many of the companies responsible for asbestos exposure are no longer in business, there are still options available for victims and their families. Victims should seek professional help. For instance, people who develop lung cancer or mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at Hooker Chemical in Niagara Falls should consult with an experienced attorney who can navigate the process and help them recover compensation.

Contact Our Asbestos Lawyers Today

At Richmond Vona, LLC, our mesothelioma attorneys have extensive experience handling lung cancer and asbestos exposure claims. We know how to navigate the system and get you and your family justice and financial compensation. For a free, strictly confidential review of your legal case, please contact our law firm today. We handle mesothelioma claims throughout Western New York, including in Niagara County, Cattaraugus County, and Erie County.


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