The latency period of mesothelioma is long, 20-50 years, so the symptoms won't surface until decades after exposure, but it's likely that there were already thousands of deaths due to mesothelioma in the last decade in both China and India. ("Global Magnitude of Reported and Unreported Mesothelioma") Both countries have a lot of problems so these deaths aren't on the radar but that could radically change as middle classes with litigious entitlements emerge across the country.
Particularly in China, a strategy for achieving the "harminous society" is improved access to courts for personal claims as a substitute for broader political rights. The greatest threat to internal stability in China is the combined provocation of local corruption, environmental degradation, and property seizures. In areas with high stress levels for these triggers, there will be "mass incidents." So to uphold the political status quo, there must be a method for controlling the rampage of exploiter capitalists and thug property developers. One such tool is the personal injury lawsuit and an independent judiciary (independent not from the Party but the influence of Big Business). In reaction to a recent mass lead poisoning of children from a toxic factory, a cadre spoke of the need for compensatory options for individuals which will have the effect of partially satisfying grievances and regulating the misbehavior of industry:
The dawn of this mechanism is foreseeable and asbestos industries better learn from the mistakes of American industry or perish.
Hu Jing, vice-director of the Environment and Resource Law Institute at China University of Political Science and Law, said it should be made easier for people to take health-related lawsuits to court.
"Lowering the difficulty of submitting health-related lawsuits is the key. The courts should accept lawsuits involving personal injuries caused by environmental pollution," Hu was quoted by Nanfang Daily as saying.
At present, lawsuits over pollution-caused personal injuries are often set aside.
Hu said the Supreme People's Court should establish a reasonable prosecution mechanism.