Asbestos is a highly dangerous substance that can cause irreparable damage to the lungs if its fibres are inhaled. Although asbestos was finally banned in all forms in the UK in 1999, many buildings constructed before this date will contain asbestos in some form, which can be a health hazard if the material is damaged or disturbed. It was also previously used widely in many industries for its heat-resistant and insulating properties. As it can take many years between exposure and the development of symptoms, many people who came into contact with asbestos decades ago are only now being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. This explains why asbestos is still regularly making the news and we have compiled some of the latest asbestos news stories from October 2018.
A Norfolk man has died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer that is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Michael Bird, who came into contact with the deadly substance when he worked for BT, died at the age of 80 following a diagnosis over two years earlier. At the inquest into his death in October 2018, the Coroner found that Mr Bird had died due to exposure to asbestos dust at his place of work and gave a verdict of death due to industrial disease. BT is reported to have accepted responsibility for exposing Mr Bird to the toxic dust.
It has been announced that an NHS Trust is set to be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the way it handled asbestos at one of its hospitals back in 2012. A former trust employee, who was working on the refurbishment of an old nursing accommodation block at the hospital, was reportedly dismissed from his post shortly after raising concerns about the presence of asbestos. The case is ongoing.
Asbestos Action, a charity that supports victims of asbestos exposure, has claimed that the oil and gas boom of the 1970s, which brought many jobs and investment to Scotland at that time, is also responsible for widespread exposure to deadly asbestos across the industry’s workforce in the north-east of the country. The charity has seen a spike in the number of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, with 16 of their north-east members reported to have died within the last ten months. The common link is thought to be their work on the construction projects that supported the oil and gas industries at that time.
For anyone diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, or their families, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help, support and advice. Dedicated Accident Solicitors are experts in asbestos compensation claims and can also help with practical information for those who are going through a difficult time due to this type of illness. Contact us today to discuss your options.