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Executive Summary of HSE Mesothelioma Statistics 2023

The 2023 HSE Mesothelioma Report for Great Britain shows a decrease in deaths, with 2,268 cases in 2021, predominantly among men and those over 75. In 2022, 1,755 new mesothelioma cases were assessed for benefits. The report highlights a high risk in the building industry, with death rates stabilizing recently. Future projections suggest a gradual decline in mesothelioma deaths, emphasizing the ongoing impact of historical asbestos exposure.

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Executive Summary of HSE Mesothelioma Statistics 2023

This blog article is an executive summary of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Report on Mesothelioma statistics for Great Britain in 2023. The report provides a detailed overview of the scale and impact of mesothelioma, a form of cancer primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. The executive summary will highlight key findings from the report, providing an easy-to-understand breakdown of the most significant facts and statistics.

1. 2,268 Mesothelioma Deaths in Great Britain in 2021

According to the HSE Report, there were 2,268 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2021. This figure represents a decrease of 302 deaths compared to the 2,570 deaths recorded in 2020 and is significantly lower than the average of 2,520 deaths per year over the period from 2012 to 2019. The report suggests that this substantial reduction is consistent with earlier projections that annual deaths would gradually decrease during the 2020s (HSE Report, page 2).

2. 1,867 Male Deaths in 2021

The HSE Report further breaks down the 2021 mesothelioma deaths by gender, revealing that there were 1,867 male deaths. This is a decrease from the 2,103 male deaths in 2020 and the annual average of 2,107 deaths from 2012 to 2019 (HSE Report, page 2).

3. 401 Female Deaths in 2021

In contrast, there were 401 female deaths in 2021, down from 467 in 2020. This figure is slightly below the average of 416 deaths per year over the period 2012-2019. The report predicts a continuation of 400-500 female deaths per year during the 2020s (HSE Report, page 2).

4. Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Mesothelioma Deaths

The HSE Report acknowledges that the figures for 2020 and 2021 may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This could include direct effects, such as individuals with mesothelioma dying earlier due to also developing COVID-19, and indirect effects on health services and systems for recording and certifying deaths (HSE Report, page 2).

5. Two Thirds of Annual Deaths Occur in Those Aged Over 75

The report states that around two thirds of annual deaths for both males and females now occur in those aged over 75 years. While deaths in this age group continue to increase, deaths below age 65 are decreasing (HSE Report, page 2).

6. 1,755 New Cases of Mesothelioma Assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit in 2022

In 2022, there were 1,755 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), 250 of which were female. This is a decrease from the 1,920 new cases in 2021, of which 325 were female (HSE Report, page 2).

7. High Risk of Mesothelioma Among Men Who Worked in the Building Industry

The report identifies men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively as being most at risk of developing mesothelioma (HSE Report, page 2).

8. 61.8 Male and 13.1 Female Deaths per Million in 2019-2021

In Great Britain, mesothelioma death rates for both males and females have followed an upward trend over time, with a levelling-off in recent years. Male and female rates reached 61.8 and 13.1 deaths per million respectively in 2019-2021, compared with 26.6 and 3.5 per million in 1984-1986 (HSE Report, page 10).

9. Certain Occupations Recorded More Frequently on Male Mesothelioma Death Certificates

The report's occupational analysis shows that certain occupations, particularly those associated with the construction industry, are recorded more frequently on death certificates of men dying from mesothelioma. These include jobs such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians (HSE Report, page 11).

10. Future Projections Suggest a Gradual Decline in Mesothelioma Deaths

Projections based on deaths up to and including 2017 suggest that the total annual number of mesothelioma deaths will gradually decline on average during the 2020s. However, the report notes that these projections are subject to additional uncertainty beyond 2030 due to assumptions about future exposure to asbestos (HSE Report, page 12).


The HSE Report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of mesothelioma in Great Britain. While the number of deaths has decreased in recent years, the disease continues to have a significant impact, particularly on those who were exposed to asbestos in the past. The report's findings underscore the importance of ongoing efforts to prevent exposure to asbestos and to support those affected by this deadly disease.


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Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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