We think of hospitals as places where we go to be cured of illness, but it seems that in the United Kingdom they have become “ticking time bombs” for malignant mesothelioma diagnoses. That’s because roughly 94 percent of hospitals in London were built with asbestos which remains in place. Exposure to asbestos is the cause of the rare and deadly form of cancer, which recently claimed the life of a noted British HIV researcher.
A BBC report conducted in 2017 indicated that roughly 1,000 London residents have died from mesothelioma since 2011, and several of them were doctors and nurses believed to have been exposed because the Health and Safety Executive have elected to leave the asbestos used to build the city’s medical structures in place.
In February, the medical field lost one of its most prominent HIV researchers to mesothelioma. Dr. Mags Portman was just 44 years old at the time of her death, which came two years after her diagnosis. Speaking of the fact that she had been exposed to asbestos in the hospitals where she’d treated people and the reseasrchbuildings where she’d spent over twenty years dedicated to making people better, she said, “There is a cruel irony thinking that asbestos is still present in hospitals when people go there to be made better and they may well be exposed to something which they’re not aware of.” Even she was not aware of the enormity of the problem prior to her diagnosis.
The United Kingdom’s health experts continue to debate whether it is more prudent to remove asbestos that is in place or to risk greater exposure through the process of removing it, though if more medical professionals continue to be diagnosed with the illness, it is likely that there will be a greater push for removal.
In the United States, there are strict regulations in place for how to address asbestos today, but that doesn’t help those who have been exposed in the past and diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. For information about the help and options available to you, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.