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Fareham revealed as having one of the highest levels of mesothelioma sufferers

View profile for Deborah Foundling
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Mesothelioma is a devastating disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately the number of people dying from this type of cancer is rising each year.  Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that six people are dying each day of mesothelioma in England and Wales, with some Hampshire towns amongst those having the highest mortality rates.

“According to the report, Hampshire towns Fareham and Eastleigh have an above average mesothelioma mortality rate,” explains Deborah Foundling, Personal Injury lawyer for Warner Goodman LLP.  “The national average is 4.51 deaths in every 100,000 people; however Fareham has 9.55 deaths in every 100,000 people and Eastleigh 8.59.  This could be linked to past industries in the area as those most at risk include factory and shipyard workers, as well as construction workers and even teachers, as asbestos was used in the building of schools.” 

Why was asbestos used?

Asbestos was widely used in a variety of building materials during the 1960’s and 70’s and the dangers were not known at the time.  “Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining on the lungs and is only caused by exposure to asbestos,” continues Deborah.  “Unfortunately, the cancer is a fatal one and there are currently no treatments to cure the disease.  Whilst it can take 20 to 30 years for mesothelioma to develop it can the progress very rapidly with often a period of less than 18  months from diagnosis  to death.”

Further figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) show the extent of the problem in the UK.  “In 2015/16 there were 2,515 deaths from mesothelioma, a figure that has increased by almost a third over the last ten years,” comments Deborah.  “It is projected that there will be around 2,500 deaths each year until 2020, when numbers may start to decline due to the use of asbestos being banned in 1999.  While new buildings have not used asbestos since this year, there are still thousands of properties that do still have asbestos in place.  This is why there must be more awareness of what employers and home owners should do to firstly ascertain whether there is asbestos in their commercial property or homes, and what to do should they find any.”

What duty do employers have regarding asbestos in their premises

Employers have a responsibility to their employees to ensure their safety is maintained while they are at work.   “There are a number of state benefits that exist to help those diagnosed, including Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) or Disability Living Allowance," comments Deborah, “If the asbestos exposure happened at work people may be able to  claim compensation from their employer.  Families living with mesothelioma will have more than enough emotional struggles to cope with without the added financial pressure and it is important that those affected seek prompt legal advice."

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and need somewhere to turn to advise you on how you and your family can claim compensation to remove any financial worry, as well as plan any future care needs you may have, you can contact Deborah or the Warner Goodman Personal Injury Team on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.