Action Mesothelioma Day 2023
This week we will be taking part in events to mark Action Mesothelioma Day, which is a special day of awareness and remembrance for all those affected by mesothelioma and which takes place on the first Friday of July every year. During 2023, this is on Friday 7th July.
The main intention of Action Mesothelioma Day is to raise awareness about mesothelioma, but it also provides an opportunity for people and families affected by the disease, to remember their loved ones and colleagues. Many thousands of people every year are newly diagnosed with asbestos related diseases and yet mesothelioma is still a relatively little known illness.
So what is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that usually develops as a result of inhaling microscopic asbestos fibres, which become trapped in the body. It usually develops in the lining of the lungs, but can also affect the lining of the abdomen or of the heart. The disease can be caused by very low levels of asbestos fibres and may only develop many decades after the exposure takes place. For this reason, a diagnosis of mesothelioma is often unexpected and it can be difficult for patients initially, to identify the source of the exposure, so far down the line.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this condition. However, what has changed significantly in recent years, is that research into treatment for mesothelioma has resulted in many more types of targeted medication and personalised treatment options now being available to patients, helping to improve quality of life and/or prolong life expectancy in a great many cases.
Research continues to rapidly deliver exciting results and we hope that one day soon, a cure will be found.
Asbestos in the UK
Blue, brown and white asbestos was imported and manufactured to make a large variety of products used widely across many industries in the UK for a number of decades. It was lauded as the “miracle mineral”, due principally to its impressive thermal and fire resistant properties. Consequently, asbestos materials such as lagging and sheeting were extensively used in the construction industry during the 1960s and 1970s.
Many buildings in the UK today including housing, schools and hospitals, still have old asbestos materials in them. This is a concern as the material deteriorates or can be disturbed over time, with the potential for fibres to escape and contaminate the atmosphere and to be inhaled. Despite the knowledge of the dangers posed by asbestos fibres being in the public domain since at least 1965, many employers and building owners are still not adequately managing the asbestos in their workplace/buildings and workers unfortunately, continue to be exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres. This is completely unnecessary and preventable.
It is still the case that the majority of mesothelioma sufferers we work represent, have developed the condition as a result of exposure to asbestos dust in their past work in “traditional” trades including carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, insulation work, pipe fitting, ship repairing and labouring. However, we are seeing more and more clients who were exposed to asbestos fibres when working in offices, shops, schools and hospitals, and whose jobs would not normally be associated with a risk of coming into contact with asbestos dust.
Another hidden potential cause of mesothelioma which has come to light in recent years, is through the use of cosmetic body powder and make-up containing talc which has been contaminated by asbestos fibres. The two minerals are often found in the same locations and manufacturers of these products failed in the past to ensure that the talc used in their products was asbestos-free. Consequently, an increasing number of people in the UK as elsewhere, are developing mesothelioma when the only known source of possible exposure is through regular and sometimes heavy use of talcum powder and powder make-up products. This is a truly shocking development, which has given rise to a whole new category of product liability claims.
Having said all this, it should stressed, that not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos fibres will develop mesothelioma. However, for those who do, the period between exposure to asbestos and first symptoms of the condition is usually very long, typically ranging from 10 to 60 years, or even longer. As such, people who know they have been exposed to asbestos dust have the worry of waiting to see if they are going to be one of the 2,700 or so people in the UK who every year, are diagnosed with mesothelioma. It is sobering to think how many have suffered from mesothelioma over decades, just from going to work or using trusted cosmetic products.
Action Mesothelioma Day 2023
Events organised by local Asbestos Support Groups and Trade Unions to mark the day will be taking place around the country and everyone is welcome to attend their local event and to play their part in raising awareness about the disease and to remember loved ones, who have sadly succumbed to the condition. Details of these events can usually be found on the internet or by contacting your local support group.
Asbestos Support Groups play a crucial role in providing assistance and support after a diagnosis of mesothelioma. The Groups help mesothelioma sufferers and their families with every day, practical matters, and with accessing welfare benefits and legal advice. They also raise awareness about this devastating cancer by organising and supporting campaigns and events throughout the year, including on Action Mesothelioma Day.
Action Mesothelioma Day is important for our community. It is vital that we continue to work together to raise awareness about the condition, ensure funding is secured for vital medical research and support the charities who do an amazing job every day in supporting mesothelioma sufferers and their families.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease, we urge you to seek legal advice from our leading Asbestos and Mesothelioma Solicitors without delay. We will explore every single possible avenue with you to pursue a compensation claim and we act on a “no win, no fee” basis with no hidden charges and no deductions for legal fees. We will also ensure you are not missing out on any DWP benefits that you may be entitled to because of the mesothelioma condition. Call us today on 0808 271 9413 or request a call back online.