Doves released in asbestos-cancer awareness day

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Doves released in asbestos-cancer awareness day

5th July 2011

More than two dozen doves have been released in the Square Mile to commemorate the housands of victims who have died as a result of asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive yet entirely avoidable terminal lung cancer that is directly associated with asbestos exposure and can take between 20-40 years to develop. Mesothelioma cases continue to rise in the UK with 2450 deaths per annum and a 50 per cent increase each year.
There is no known cure for mesothelioma and traditional chemotherapeutic cancer treatments have had little impact on the disease.

The ceremony which took place on Action for Mesothelioma Day on 1 July 2011 outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield, was organised by London Councils and London Hazards Centre - a resource centre for Londoners fighting health and safety hazards in their workplace or community.

Action Mesothelioma Day is an annual event held to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos. As in previous years, events were staged around the country to highlight the support and guidance provided to the thousands of men and women who are diagnosed annually with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Speaking at the event last Friday, Eileen Beadle of the East London Mesothelioma Support Group read a poem and gave a moving tribute in memory of her husband Raymond who she lost to mesothelioma in 2006. Joining her were Dr. Jeremy Steele, a chest physician at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital who gave a presentation on the treatment and management of patients with asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma and Carol Hagedorn, a former secondary school languages teacher who was forced to retire due to ill-health after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2008. Mrs Hagedorn - who developed the disease as a result of being unknowingly exposed to asbestos for years in her work as a teacher - spoke of her campaigning work for the removal of asbestos in schoolsand for better control measures and monitoring of the deadly material. A petition was then signed lending support to the campaign.

Industrial disease experts Edmund Young and Nick Greaves, from Fentons Solicitors LLP, attended the event and sponsored one of the doves in memory of the many victims and families they work with each year who are affected by mesothelioma. “The numbers of deaths caused by asbestos exposure in schools, homes, public buildings and places of work continues to rise,” said Edmund, an associate with the firm. “More people currently die from asbestos-related illnesses each year than are killed in road traffic accidents or by breast cancer.

“Mesothelioma is a horribly painful condition that has a devastating effect on both victims and their families. It is vitally important that we continue to strive for more government-funded research into the treatment and management of mesothelioma and better asbestos control measures to be introduced particularly in schools. At present, some three-quarters of school buildings in the UK contain asbestos, potentially putting thousands of pupils at risk. In the last decade alone 140 teachers have died of mesothelioma.

"The dangers of asbestos and the associated risks of mesothelioma have been known since the early 1960's,” said Edmund. “The terrible legacy of our widespread use of asbestos in the last few decades continues to claim thousands of lives each year and many of us are worryingly unaware of the continuing threat asbestos presents. Typically, with diseases such as mesothelioma, symptoms do not appear until up to 40 years after exposure with post-diagnosis life expectancy given between 12-18 months. We represent many victims and their families who have been devastated by illnesses of this kind and any effort to highlight and educate people about the potential dangers of asbestos in their homes as well as public buildings and schools should always be welcomed.”

How can Fentons help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of industrial diseases including asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.