Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals.  Due to its excellent insulating properties, asbestos was widely used in numerous industries for many decades, including the construction of millions of buildings in the UK.  However, it became evident that asbestos was highly dangerous when inhaled and can potentially cause irreparable damage to the lungs and respiratory system.  It was finally banned from use in the UK in 1999.

Most people who have been exposed to asbestos don’t show any symptoms of related conditions for many years after the event.  Asbestos is thought to kill around 5,000 people in the UK every year, many of whom were exposed to it at work during the 1900s.  However, asbestos is not just an issue from the past; the substance is still present in many buildings in the UK that were built before the ban.  If disturbed within these buildings for any reason, asbestos can still cause problems and present a very real risk to health if the appropriate measures are not taken to protect people from exposure.  We have compiled some of the ways in which asbestos has been making the news in August 2019.

The death of a retired carpenter from Suffolk has been linked to asbestos exposure during his career, an inquest recently found.  Mr George Cutmore, 81, passed away earlier this year after a diagnosis of asbestosis was first given in 2015.  Mr Cutmore had worked at a timber merchants where he had been exposed to asbestos products.  He had also worked at a weaving mill where he had helped to remove asbestos lagging from pipes.  The Senior Suffolk Coroner, Nigel Parsley, recorded a conclusion that Mr Cutmore had died from an industrial disease that had been caused by exposure to asbestos fibres while at work.

Another retired carpenter, this time from Stoke-on-Trent, also died recently as a result of asbestos exposure at work during the 1960s and 1970s, according to the Coroner’s findings.  David Challinor, 73, had worked as a carpenter and joiner for most of his working life, from the age of 15 onwards, at a time when asbestos was widely used in the construction industry.  A post-mortem examination confirmed that he had a malignant mesothelioma tumour, a type of cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure.

A woman from Woolston who died in her late 60s is thought to have been exposed to asbestos as a child when sitting on her father’s knee whilst his work clothes were covered in asbestos dust, a Coroner’s Court has heard.  Jennifer Rudd, 68, passed away earlier this year at a hospice after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related illness.  Ms Rudd’s father had worked at Southampton docks during her childhood and after handling asbestos as part of his work, he would home from work in his asbestos-covered overalls.

Arrests have been made in Yorkshire this month, after three men were found to have dumped dangerous asbestos materials in the Leeds area.  The waste, thought to be around 2.7 tonnes in weight, had been dumped in Wetherby.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, which is likely to have been caused by exposure to asbestos at work, you might be able to make a claim for compensation.  Dedicated Accident Solicitors are experts in asbestos cases, helping victims of asbestos exposure, and their families, to gain access to the compensation they deserve.  Contact us today to find out more.