Asbestos has left a devastating legacy – it is the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
Employers and insurance companies want to hide their track record of exposing workers – and those around them – to the history books. But at Thompsons, we know that for thousands of families every year, forgetting about asbestos is not an option.
20 years on
Despite being banned almost 20 years ago in the UK, asbestos materials are responsible for thousands of serious illnesses and deaths every year. Shockingly, the number of people killed due to asbestos exposure still hasn’t reached its peak, and the figure is expected to keep rising until 2020. Our asbestos specialist, Louise Larkin, has commented on why the official statistics on death rates keep getting revised here.
The 20th anniversary of the ban on the use of asbestos in the UK is an opportunity to reflect that although asbestos was banned two decades ago, families and communities are still affected by its legacy. We’ve supported thousands of families who have lost loved ones as a result of asbestos-related diseases caused by past exposure to asbestos.
At Thompsons, we’re also using the anniversary to never forget that asbestos is very much present today. Many buildings, factories, schools and hospitals that were built before 1980 in the UK are contaminated with asbestos dust, which means every day local authority workers, construction workers, children, teachers, nurses, and doctors are at risk of exposure to asbestos if it isn’t identified and contained properly, and that in turn means a risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
While asbestos is no longer used in the UK, its effects are long-lasting. The use of asbestos may be a thing of the past, but its consequences are being felt in the present by those directly affected by diseases like mesothelioma, and those who have lost loved ones prematurely as a result of past asbestos exposure.