It has recently been reported by an Israeli newspaper that a city on the northern coast of Israel now has one of the highest concentrations of the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, in the world. The incidence of the disease per one hundred thousand residents has rocketed over recent years, according to the report.

Dr. Micha BarHana, director of the Israel Health Ministry’s cancer registry, said around seven years ago there were 3.55 cases of the disease per one hundred thousand residents in the city of Nahariya. However, by 2008 the number had soared to 5.72 cases of mesothelioma per one hundred thousand residents.

The only asbestos plant in Israel was located in this city, but this closed down in 1997. Experts from the health industry in the area have said that the full impact of exposure from the plant may not have yet been realised, and the number of cases could continue to go up over the coming years.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer the highest rate of the asbestos related cancer is found in Genoa in Italy, where the numbers stand at around 5.8 cases of the asbestos related disease per one hundred thousand people.

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