The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive has just released the latest statistics regarding asbestos-related deaths in the country, and the conclusion is that mesothelioma and other illnesses caused by exposure to the carcinogen have reached crisis levels.
Blaming the toll of mesothelioma on failures of both industry and government decades ago, the country’s health agency has concluded that the dramatic increase in the number of mesothelioma deaths that has been seen in the last two decades is unlikely to abate anytime soon, and is likely to continue well into the next ten years.
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and which only makes itself known decades after that exposure takes place. In the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, asbestos was widely used in industrial and construction settings, as well as in shipbuilding and other applications where strength, fire retardance and insulation were required. Following the damage sustained in Britain during World War II, the mineral played a large role in rebuilding the city’s infrastructure, and as a result those who worked installing it as well as those who have been exposed to it over the years have just now started feeling the effects.
When the information about the dangers of asbestos became known, the UK stopped using it: however, the misconception that only blue or brown asbestos was dangerous meant that only those types were banned in1985, while white asbestos continued being used in Britain until 1999. In the United States, the use of asbestos has not been banned, but it has been significantly curtailed in applications where workers and people might be exposed. The risks of mesothelioma continue from asbestos that remains in place in buildings and other applications.
According to the newly released figures, the number of mesothelioma deaths being seen in the United Kingdom each year has risen above 2,500. In the 1970s that number was just a few hundred. Those are on top of the people who die of other asbestos-related diseases, which are more challenging to calculate or track.
If you or someone you love have been affected by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, the laws in the United States provide you the opportunity to pursue justice against those responsible for your illness. For more information, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.