New figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that in 2017, there were 2,523 deaths from mesothelioma, a similar number to the previous five years.
Based on these figures, the Guardian reported that ‘the death toll from asbestos exposure has reached crisis levels in Britain, as people pay the price for “criminal failings by industry and government” made decades ago’.
Subsequently, in an interview with Sky News, Professor Julian Peto, a leading cancer expert has subsequently said that ‘taking out the asbestos (from schools) would lead to the release of more deadly fibres than leaving it undisturbed’.
In response to these arguments and as the national charity for mesothelioma patients and families, Mesothelioma UK believes that we need to escalate a national debate with expert asbestos management experts, clinicians, patients and employers perhaps from education providers to review what the latest evidence and techniques suggest, and what can be achieved to better manage asbestos in situ.
It is possible that the current generation needs to critically address the matter and manage the risk that arises for the sake of every other generation to come.
There is no safe level of exposure and clinicians working with mesothelioma patients are concerned about the number of patients they are seeing who have had low levels of exposure.
Asbestos is not a political problem, it is everyone’s problem and here in the UK 5,000 people per year are dying because of it. Mesothelioma UK urges the Government to take a lead role in bringing together the appropriate persons to address this public health disaster.
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