The state of Illinois landed high on a dubious list of 15 states that combined for over 100,000 asbestos-related deaths during a 15-year period from 1999-2013. With a population of 12.8 million, Illinois had 9,720 deaths due to asbestos exposure during that period, the seventh-highest total in the United States. Asbestos exposure can lead mesothelioma and other deadly lung cancers.
Historically, Illinois was home to some of the earliest attempts to curtail the use of asbestos and hold those responsible for the exposure accountable, even after the dangers of the cancer-causing material were known. A Johns-Manville site in Waukegan houses a 15-acre area used exclusively for the disposal of asbestos.
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