It is estimated that over 8 million American workers have been exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma can remain dormant in a person for many years and the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer can show up anywhere from fifteen to fifty years after exposure. Other studies show longer periods before symptoms reach full debilitating effect on the patient of asbestos-related poisoning.
Generally, the symptoms manifest within thirty to fifty years after exposure so the disease is seldom seen in younger people. The American Medical Association believes that cases of asbestos-related disease will increase significantly over the next 30 years.