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Maine Has Nation's Highest Rate of Asbestos-Related Cancer: Report

WASHINGTON - Maine has the nation's highest rate of an asbestos-related cancer called mesothelioma, according to a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group Action Fund. Senior Analyst Sonya Lunder says 12,000 to 15,000 people across the U.S. die from asbestos-related diseases every year.

"It's really surprising because there were steps taken to limit people's asbestos exposure decades ago," Lunder says. "But because of the long lag time between when you're exposed to asbestos and when it may kill you, we have not seen any decline in asbestos-related deaths over the last 15-year period."

Lunder says many people have been exposed to asbestos in their occupations, such as boat building. She say asbestos can still be found in our surrounding environment, such as old attic insulation and talcum powder.