We have now been approached by a client who was working in a shopping centre for many years and has found out that she was exposed to Asbestos dust in a ceiling. There appears to many other centres that were built in 1970’s which contained Asbestos. Not everybody was exposed, but in this case dust was falling from the ceiling.

Past Figures in the press release show that six people die of mesothelioma every day in England and Wales. Barrow-in-Furness, North and South Tyneside, Castle Point, Fareham and Eastleigh have the highest mortality rates, all at least double the national average of 4.51 deaths in every 100,000 people.

Headlines such as, Fatal Legacy Left Behind by Use of Asbestos in Industry and Shock Asbestos Death Figures Revealed, were used to report the figures to the public. North West Evening Mail published the story alongside a plea, from the widow of a former shipyard worker who died of mesothelioma, to find why more hadn’t been done to help victims of asbestos related diseases. The story went on to share APIL’s figures and research from the HSE which predicts fatality rates will peak in 2018.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the recorded deaths from Mesothelioma were 2,538 deaths in Great Britain in 2013, a similar number to the 2,548 deaths in 2012, but substantially higher than the 2,312 deaths in 2011. They forecast that the latest projections suggest that there will continue to be around 2,500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begin to decline. The continuing increase in annual mesothelioma deaths in recent years has been driven mainly by deaths among those aged 75 and above (but not all). Most mesothelioma deaths occurring now are a legacy of past occupational exposures to asbestos when it was widely used in the building industry, although Asbestos exposure could come from a variety of places, some totally unexpected.

Other forms, which included lung cancer, pleural thickening and other asbestosis related cases amounted to over 4555 people. Why do I mention such a depressing figure? It is the silent disease. It has a tendency to creep up on you in later life. Why me? Asked a client whose partner suddenly passed away. A man in his late 70’s enjoying his later life with his partner, children and grand children. On a visit to his GP he complained of shortness of breath. Tests confirmed that he had advanced mesothelioma. He died 5 months later. He was working in an industry that handled Asbestos-used for lagging pipes. Luckily his former employers were still in business and a claim could be made. There are many cases where former employers cannot be found. Searches can be made to try and discover their former insurers’ (so a claim can be made), or in certain circumstances claims can be made through the Government Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme. In London and in other towns many factories, schools, hospitals and other buildings often contained asbestos. Not everybody thankfully who worked or came into contact with Asbestos will become ill.

 

Melanie Neale, Head of Personal Injury at Hubbard Pegman and Whitney says the problems affecting many of the population with Asbestos shows no signs of diminishing as is evidenced by the HSE statistics. There are self-help groups and other organisations that can help and guide people through the complicated procedures in trying to formulate a claim.

 


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