With thousands of asbestos-related deaths every year in the UK, we want to raise awareness of the ways in which victims and their families can access support, and also ways in which organisations are tackling the problem of asbestos to minimise the risks of exposure. We have compiled just some of the many ways that asbestos has made the news in the UK, so far, in December 2017.

Most schools across the country have been decorating their classrooms for Christmas over the last few weeks, but the Joint Union Asbestos Committee, an organisation representing nine teaching and support worker unions, has advised schools to avoid using pins and staples when decorating, due to the risk of disturbing asbestos. Any school built before the year 2000 is likely to contain asbestos in some form, as it was a commonly used material in construction until all forms of the substance were banned in 1999.

An inquest into the death of a farmer from Hampshire has heard that Mr Seymour was exposed to dangerous asbestos repeatedly between 1958 and 1988 whilst he built pig stys and roofs. Mr Seymour went on to the develop mesothelioma and sadly died in August 2017, as a result of this industrial disease.

The family of a doctor in Birmingham have been awarded compensation in the region of £500,000 as a result of Dr Ian Pardoe’s exposure to asbestos as a medical student and his resulting death from mesothelioma at the age of just 51-years. Dr Pardoe, who was a GP and acupuncture specialist, was diagnosed just months before he died, leaving behind his wife, three children and two step-children. The case was settled out of court.

An inquest in Wales has heard that a former Harrods employee, Mr John Kavanagh, developed the asbestos-related illness, mesothelioma, after a period working as a porter in the boiler room of the world-famous Harrods department store in Knightsbridge in the 1980s. Mr Kavanagh spent another spell as a porter in the Royal Marsden Hospital in a similar environment, working in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipes and in dusty basements, which was also thought to have been a likely contributor to his asbestos exposure. The coroner recorded a verdict of death from industrial disease.

Chesterfield College, in Derbyshire, have become the first further education college in the country to roll out a new safety labelling system to help protect staff and contractors from the dangers of asbestos in its buildings. A survey has identified which areas of their buildings have the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and these locations have now been labelled with QR codes, which, once scanned by a mobile device, allow access to a database which informs the user of the asbestos risk in that area and provides safeguarding information to anyone who may need to work there.

If you, or a member of your family, have been affected by an asbestos-related illness and would like to discuss your options or find access to support services, please get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable asbestos claim team.