Mesothelioma UK response to Select Committee recommendation on asbestos removal from public buildings

Mesothelioma UK, the national asbestos-related charity, welcomes the Work & Pensions Select Committee recommendation calling for a cross government strategy for the removal of asbestos from public buildings. This means hospitals, schools, council buildings and more.

Only last year there was an incident of asbestos exposure in the Houses of Parliament where it was mooted that up 117 people may have been exposed. There was confusion as to whether the incident met the threshold for reporting to the Health and Safety Executive and even who had the duty to report. This is unacceptable, and is illustrative of what happens up and down the country.

The report stated that the Government must commit to a strategy to remove all asbestos from public and commercial buildings within 40 years, with the risk to health only likely to increase as buildings are adapted with the move to net zero. You can read more at https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/164/work-and-pensions-committee/news/165978/set-40-year-deadline-for-nondomestic-building-asbestos-removal-mps-say/

Liz Darlison, Chief Executive of Mesothelioma UK

Liz Darlison, Chief Executive of Mesothelioma UK

Liz Darlison, Chief Executive of Mesothelioma UK commented: “The Committee has made the right call to prevent unnecessary death in our country. It is scandalous that we have an annual asbestos related death toll of 5,000 people that is preventable. We are seeing teachers, doctors and nurses being diagnosed with cancer from working in buildings with asbestos.

“We currently have no cure for mesothelioma cancer. Up to 2,700 people are diagnosed annually with 60 per cent of people dying in the first year. We need the Government to urgently commit to a cross government strategy to remove asbestos from all of our buildings and ensure the necessary standard of care in the NHS. As a charity, Mesothelioma UK funds over 30 specialist nurses, each embedded in the NHS, doing all they can to provide the necessary standard of care to patients and carers.

“We look forward to the day when our country is rid of our shameful, widespread asbestos legacy. Mesothelioma UK will press the Government to resource the HSE to deliver sustainable inspection and enforcement targeted at compliance with Control of Asbestos Regulations.”

About Mesothelioma UK:

Mesothelioma UK is the national charity for the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma. It exists to support people with mesothelioma to live better and longer, and to prevent mesothelioma happening to future generations.

The charity advocates for improved treatment and care, champions research and amplifies the patient voice. It promotes the development of specialist mesothelioma nursing practice and funds over 30 Clinical Nurse Specialist posts around the UK.

For more information, visit www.mesothelioma.uk.com, email info@mesothelioma.uk.com or call freephone 0800 169 2409 (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm).

For press enquiries, please contact:
Simon Gribbon, on behalf of Mesothelioma UK
M: 07990 583371
E: simon@sandstarcomms.com