New HSE figures show increase in mesothelioma deaths

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New HSE figures show increase in mesothelioma deaths

3rd November 2011

New figures released by the Health & Safety Executive show that deaths from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma continue to increase in Great Britain.

Lesley Mynett, a specialist industrial disease lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said that the 2009 statistics show that the number of annual deaths resulting from mesothelioma has now reached 2,321.

“This figure shows that despite hopes the death toll from this terrible disease would have peaked by now, we have not yet reached that point,” said Lesley, an associate with the firm. “These deaths are a legacy of more than a half century of unprotected workers being exposed to deadly asbestos, particularly those within the building industry where until only recently the widespread use of asbestos was prevalent.”

Miss Mynett, who for more than 15 years has specialised in representing victims of mesothelioma in compensation claims against their employers, said the latest statistics made for sober reading.

“When I first started practicing law, there were less than 1,300 deaths each year from mesothelioma,” she said. “That annual figure has now almost doubled, and although this figure was expected to peak sometime in the next two or three years, it is now feared it will continue to increase until at least 2016.”

The annual report from the HSE shows that the number of women succumbing to mesothelioma is also continuing to increase. “Although there are less female mesothelioma deaths than males – undoubtedly due to the male dominance of the building industry in the late 20th century - the incidence of deaths amongst females is actually increasing at a greater rate than that of males,” said Lesley.

“Although most of the deaths of women are probably due to non-occupational exposure, we have seen a number of cases involving secondary exposure, where wives have breathed in asbestos dust that was in their husbands’ hair or on their clothes,” she said.  “Also we have had cases involving women who were exposed at their place of work, where construction or repairs were being carried out resulting in asbestos being displaced into the atmosphere.”

The HSE statistics show that the number of mesothelioma deaths has increased from 153 in 1968 to 2,321 in 2009, with more than 80% of those deaths among men.

For the full statistics, visit the HSE website

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of industrial diseases including 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.