Asbestos exposure is a serious issue throughout the United States – however, it’s also a problem in other countries, including the UK. Even though the United Kingdom banned asbestos use years ago, the toxic material is still found in many buildings. This puts thousands of workers, including tradesmen, at risk for asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos exposure is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Approximately 4,000 people die in the UK every year from asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Despite the restrictions associated with asbestos use in the UK, many tradesmen don’t realize they are still at risk. Asbestos is thought to be present in any building that was constructed or refurbished before the year 2000. NHS Choices reports that about 500,000 buildings currently contain asbestos in the UK.
That means any tradesmen who repair, demolish or work in these buildings that include asbestos products can disturb the asbestos fibers, release them into the air and put themselves at risk for one day developing an asbestos-related disease.
“We need to educate tradesmen about how asbestos and its dangers are relevant to them,” said Steve Coldrick, director of the HSE’s Disease Reduction Programme in an NHS Choices article. “We want them to change the way they work so they don’t put their lives at risk.”
Recent UK Asbestos Headlines
Asbestos has been making news headlines throughout the UK. Here are some of the most recent trending topics:
- Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel Revamp Delayed by Asbestos
After the discovery of asbestos, work on the refurbishment of the Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnel is being delayed. The tunnel’s mechanical and electrical systems are being replaced along with the asbestos removal.
- Caretaker’s Death Linked to Asbestos
A retired school caretaker recently died of lung cancer. The cause of the cancer was linked to asbestos he inhaled more than 40 years ago when he worked at York Carriageworks. The presence of asbestos at the carriageworks was well known.
- Anger Over Payoff Snub to Victim of Asbestos
Thousands of people are victims of killer asbestos diseases in the UK. Due to a new law’s exclusions, these individuals will not qualify for government compensation. This impacts up to 25,000 asbestos exposure victims.