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Fentons proud to support Action Mesothelioma Day 2012
A leading industrial disease expert has today joined calls for a global ban on the use of asbestos as events are held up and down the country to mark Action Mesothelioma Day 2012.
First held in 2006, Action Mesothelioma Day is an annual event which aims to not only help support and remember all those whose lives have been affected by exposure to asbestos but also to raise vital awareness into the continued danger of the material and the associated risk of industrial diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Bridget Collier, head of the Industrial Disease department at Fentons Solicitors LLP said: “We are proud to once again support Action Mesothelioma Day 2012, which is this year focusing on calls for a total ban on the use of asbestos worldwide - a message we wholeheartedly support and hope will highlight the global scale and consequences to the health and lives of those exposed to asbestos and their families.
“As always, our colleagues across the firm will today be attending events to help raise awareness of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma,” added Bridget, a partner with the firm. “As in previous years, local groups, national organisations and charity trusts up and down the country will today stage a variety of events to highlight the invaluable support and guidance provided to the thousands of men and women who are diagnosed each year with this most cruel of diseases.”
Bridget, who for many years has seen first-hand the impact mesothelioma has on its victims, said “Mesothelioma is a particularly cruel and extremely aggressive terminal lung cancer that causes immense suffering to both victims and their families. The disease is directly attributed to asbestos exposure and there is currently no known cure. Sadly, cases continue to rise in the UK with over 2,400 deaths recorded annually and a staggering 50 per cent increase each year.”
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral and was commonly used in the manufacturing of insulation and fire retardant products in the 1950s up until its eventual UK ban in 1999. As a popular building material, asbestos was widely used in products such as ceiling and roof tiles, boilers and pipe insulation and can still be found in many buildings today including, schools, hospitals and homes.
“There is a common misconception that asbestos is a thing of the past, but many people could still be at risk today,” said Bridget. “It can take between 15 and 60 years after someone is exposed to asbestos for any asbestos-related disease symptoms to become apparent. It is an unfortunate fact that many of those who are diagnosed with such illnesses today were often exposed to the deadly material several decades ago without them realising or even being aware of the inherent risks to their health. Tragically, it is only once diseases such as mesothelioma take hold that victims realise the devastating effects asbestos has had on their lives.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 125 million people encounter white asbestos in the workplace on a near daily basis and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate that up to 100,000 workers die as a result each year from asbestos-related diseases. Between 1994 and 2008, a total of 92,000 people died of mesothelioma alone with up to 6,000 deaths recorded worldwide each year.
While asbestos remains banned in 52 countries around the world, Canada, Russia and China continue to mine and export white chrysotile asbestos to a number of developing countries, including India, Pakistan and Indonesia. As a consequence, it is forecast that mortality rates for asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma could reach as high as 10 million by 2030.
“Every day we see the appalling effects that asbestos-related diseases can have on people’s lives and it is heartening that organisations such as The National Asbestos Helpline (NAH) The British Lung Foundation (BLF) and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation (ABAO) in the United States are all adding their support to the growing number of global outfits calling for a total ban on use of the material,” said Bridget.
“The numbers of deaths caused by asbestos exposure in schools, homes, public buildings and places of work continues to rise,” she added. “This is unacceptable. The government needs to increase funding into the treatment and management of asbestos-related diseases, continue to vigorously enforce existing asbestos regulations and introduce better asbestos control measures, particularly in schools and the workplace. It is vital that both schools and employers do everything they possibly can to prevent future asbestos exposure by identifying and removing the material from their properties to provide a safe working environment for employees and students.
“We represent many victims and their families who have been devastated by asbestos-related illnesses and any effort to highlight and educate people about the potential dangers of even low-level asbestos exposure in their homes as well as public buildings and schools should always be welcomed,” said Bridget. “By supporting Action for Mesothelioma Day 2012 we hope to highlight the continuing plight of individuals and their families across the world who continue to suffer from asbestos exposure and add our voice to the growing campaign to outlaw the use of this deadly material once and for all.”
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.
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