Asbestos exposure is still making people sick

Asbestos particles too small to see with the naked eye can be inhaled into the lungs.

Story highlights

  • The CDC reports that mesothelioma deaths increased from 2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015
  • Mesothelioma can develop 20 to 50 years after exposure , expert says

(CNN)Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are struggling to understand why younger populations continue to suffer asbestos-related medical issues despite efforts to reduce exposure from the toxic mineral.

According to a report released by the CDC on Thursday, numbers of deaths related to malignant mesothelioma increased from 2,479 in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015.
The largest increase was seen in those over 85 years old, but younger populations continue to be affected.
    In those 16 years, 16,914 of the deaths were among people 75 to 84 years old. In the same period, 682 people between the ages of 25 and 44 died of mesothelioma-related problems.
    "Although deaths among persons aged less than 35 years are of concern, we do not have information to understand potential causes," said Dr. Jacek Mazurek, lead author of the CDC report.
    Group finds asbestos in children's crayons, toy crime lab kits