Asbestos Victims Meet to Remember and Safeguard Future Generations
Asbestos victims from around Merseyside gathered on Friday 7th July to commemorate those who have lost their lives due to their exposure to asbestos. A dove released in their memory took place at 1.00pm in St. Nicholas Parish Church Gardens, Chapel Street, Liverpool.
Action Mesothelioma Day held annually since 2006 is commemorated globally to honour those who suffer with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos. The event in Liverpool was organised by the Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group Charity.
The day was held to highlight the sinister disease now affecting more younger people than traditionally seen and a 7% increase in the number of women contracting the condition.
The day was designed to draw attention to the 7,000 and more people who are diagnosed with an asbestos related diseases every year.
Margaret Greenwood MP for Wirral West spoke on Asbestos in Schools and HSE Officer, Alison Wellens spoke on the latest work of the HSE at the Racquet Club in Chapel Street.
Margaret Greenwood MP said
“The Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group does incredibly important work in supporting victims of asbestos and their families who endure great suffering and distress as a result of diseases such as mesothelioma.
“However, people with asbestos-related diseases can face real difficulties when it comes to securing financial support from the Department of Work and Pensions.
“The use of asbestos in a very wide range of workplaces has been a huge health risk to working people, and its continued presence in buildings is still a matter of great concern.
“The government must come forward with a clear strategy to identify and deal with the asbestos in public buildings throughout the UK. They must also ensure that the processes by which victims of asbestos can receive financial support are as smooth as possible.”
Tim Beaumont, HSE’s acting head of construction policy sector, said:
“Asbestos can be found in things like Artex, cement boards under eaves, garage roofs, old bath panels, boiler houses and fires and even mortar between bricks can contain asbestos.
“There is no known safe level of asbestos exposure but that’s not to say it can’t be managed safely.
All tradespeople should make sure they know the basics about identifying asbestos. Before carrying out any construction work, there’s a legal requirement to identify whether asbestos is present and could be disturbed.
“Younger tradespeople need to know the dangers behind asbestos as it could affect them in later life like it is affecting older tradespeople now.”
John Flanagan, Support Officer for the MAVSG said:
“This is the 30th anniversary of our group and it’s a sad reflection on society that registered charities like ours are still necessary when the diseases we are still seeing today are the same first identified in 1898 by the first woman Factory Inspector. (1).
“Asbestos is a global disaster for workers. Asbestos exposure is the biggest cause of work-related deaths in the world. According to a 2017 study, around 237,000 people die each year as a result of asbestos exposure. Globally, asbestos-related lung cancer causes the most asbestos related deaths, followed by mesothelioma.”
Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Richard Kemp CBE commented on the day’s proceedings in his blog: