Although banned from use several decades ago, the impact of asbestos is still being felt in the UK due to thousands of deaths every year from asbestos-related illnesses. We want to help raise awareness about the injustice of these deaths, the dangers of asbestos and to let people know about the support available for victims and their families. We have compiled some of the ways in which asbestos has been making the news in June 2018.

A retired vicar, living in Leeds but formerly from the North East of England, has recently been diagnosed with pleural thickening and asbestosis after his exposure to asbestos, which he believes occurred during his former career as an electrician and instrument artificer. Christopher Puckrin, now aged 70, worked at various industrial sites in Teesside in the 1960s and 1970s, before becoming a Church of England vicar. He remembers crawling amongst pipework that was lagged with so much asbestos that he felt as though he was “virtually eating it at times”. Having never been warned of the dangers or provided with a mask, he is now investigating whether his employers should have done more to protect him.

Residents in Colne Valley, Yorkshire, were appalled to discover piles of fly-tipped rubbish left close to their local secondary school, some of it suspected to include potentially deadly asbestos sheeting. However, it’s not the first time that fly tippers have targeted the area, with residents considering the crime to be on the increase. The school is used by over 1,000 children and a local community group is calling for the council to help resolve the ongoing problem.

A woman from Muswell Hill believes that her diagnosis of mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from her father’s work clothes during her childhood. Wendy Holland’s father was a dock worker in east London during the 1960s, when it was common for workers to unload cargoes of deadly asbestos. Wendy, now 51, claims that her illness has been caused by hugging her father as a toddler when he came home from work each day, whilst he was still wearing work clothes tainted with asbestos dust.

Two Edwardian buildings at Selwyn Primary School, in Waltham Forest, London, are to be demolished to make way for rebuilding work. Although the buildings are known to contain asbestos, the school plans to remain open whilst the work takes place. Local residents are concerned that the children and staff will be at risk of exposure to toxic asbestos during the building works. However, a spokesperson for the Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), the organisation that ordered the refurbishment, claims that strict HSE guidance will be followed and asbestos removal will only be carried out in vacated, sealed areas, to protect the children and staff from exposure.

If you, or anyone you know, are a victim of asbestos exposure and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, contact our friendly team to discuss your options and find out what support is available to you.