Even though asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, there are still many repercussions of its widespread use before this, across the construction industry and beyond. With most asbestos-related conditions not showing any symptoms for many years after exposure, it often comes as a nasty shock to those who receive a diagnosis in later life. With around 5,000 people every year in the UK passing away from an asbestos-related illness, and the substance still known to be present in millions of homes, commercial and public buildings, it seems that asbestos is sadly something that will continue to have a deadly impact for some time to come. In this blog, we summarise some of the ways in which asbestos has been making the news in December 2018.
An investigation by the BBC has found that nine out of ten NHS trusts in Britain are aware that asbestos is present in at least some of their buildings. An MP has now called for an audit to be conducted by the UK government to ensure that the full extent of asbestos in hospital buildings is known and so that long term strategies may be put in place for its safe management, avoiding patients and staff being put at risk of exposure. The BBC also found that, in the period between 2013 and 2017, over 350 claims were made against NHS trusts by people who attributed their asbestos-related disease to time spent in an NHS building.
A former car factory worker from Bedfordshire has claimed that the asbestos dust he inadvertently carried home on his work clothes and in his hair and moustache, back in the 1970s, is to blame for exposing his wife to the substance, causing her to develop an asbestos-related cancer called mesothelioma and resulting in her recent death. A compensation claim is ongoing.
A coroner has ruled that a former shipyard worker from Cumbria died as a result of asbestos exposure and gave a verdict of death due to industrial disease. After his death in the summer of 2018, a post-mortem revealed that both of 89-year old George Lanyon’s lungs had been affected by asbestos exposure, with evidence of asbestos fibres clearly visible “in all parts of his lungs”.
The inquest into the death of an agricultural worker, Laura Emery, who died when aged just 29, has heard that she developed a highly aggressive form of mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer that is usually caused by asbestos exposure, and died less than a year after diagnosis. It is thought that Ms Emery may have been exposed to asbestos whilst working on various poultry farms in the period between 2005 and 2013. Asbestos-related conditions such as mesothelioma often take several decades to develop, but Ms Emery’s illness was unusual in that the cancer developed at a much earlier point in time.
Whatever the circumstances, being diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness can come as a real shock and it can be difficult to know where to turn for advice and practical support. Here at Dedicated Accident Solicitors, we can offer free initial legal advice if you are thinking of making a compensation claim for asbestos exposure. We can also point you in the right direction for other support services that provide help after an asbestos-related condition diagnosis. Contact us today through our website or by phone on 01332 897 222.