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5 July 2024 | Comment | Charities, Community, & CSR | Article by Anna Burns

Action Mesothelioma Day | Our work with MESSY

The first Friday in July each year is Action Mesothelioma Day, a day where we join together with those affected by mesothelioma, to raise awareness of this preventable disease and to highlight the ongoing risks associated with asbestos.

It is often thought that asbestos is a problem of the past, however it is estimated that asbestos is still present in around 85% of schools and 90% of hospitals.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and was originally celebrated for its heat resistant properties. As no asbestos mines are found in the UK; during the 1960s the UK was the biggest importer of asbestos worldwide, which resulted in a huge number of different tradespeople being exposed to it.

Sadly, we now know that asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, and over 2,700 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, and tragically fewer than 10% of people diagnosed survive beyond three years, with life expectancy typically given as 12-18 months by medical professionals.

It can take anywhere between 20 and 60 years from being exposed to asbestos, to later develop symptoms.

Whilst the dangers of asbestos were known in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1999 that asbestos was banned completely in the UK.

Despite the ban, asbestos illnesses have not been eradicated, which is partly due to the fact that asbestos continues to be present inside a large proportion of our public and private buildings. Asbestos deteriorates over time and therefore can still potentially release fibres through the aging process, without necessarily being disturbed.

Furthermore, we now know that asbestos was also used in certain talc-based cosmetics, which is sadly affecting more women who develop mesothelioma without any work history involving asbestos exposure.

On 5th July 2024, our Anna Burns, Solicitor of Hugh James attended the Action Mesothelioma Day with MESothelioma Support Yorkshire (MESSY) for its picnic at the bandstand in Roundhay Park, Leeds.

Anna Burns and members of Action Mesothelioma Day with MESothelioma Support Yorkshire (MESSY) on a sunny day gather for a picnic at the bandstand in Roundhay Park, Leeds.

The rain held off and the guests gathered to remember friends and family members affected by this disease.

MESSY is an information and support group for those affected by Mesothelioma. The group is led by Mesothelioma UK nurse Simon Bolton and aims to provide information, support and practical advice to people suffering from or affected by Mesothelioma.

Yorkshire has a rich history of industry, with textiles, coal and steel production being prevalent. As with any area of significant industry, building and construction trades were hugely important as well, with asbestos products often being used.

Hugh James is proud to support MESSY and the fantastic work they do. It was wonderful to share the afternoon with the group and help to raise awareness of mesothelioma together.

If you would like to know more about making an asbestos related claim, please contact Anna Burns on 0161 246 2361 or [email protected].

Author bio

Anna Burns

Senior Associate

Anna Burns is a specialist Asbestos Litigator who has been helping individuals diagnosed with asbestos related illnesses to claim compensation since she qualified as a Solicitor in 2007.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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