Action Mesothelioma Day is on 5 July 2019. 


Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by breathing in asbestos dust. Asbestos is banned in the UK however, thousands of tons of asbestos still remain in buildings across the UK. The Control of Asbestos regulations continues the ban introduced for blue and brown asbestos (1985) and for white asbestos (1999) and makes it illegal to import, supply or use all forms of asbestos and ACM’s. Therefore you should not be able to find any asbestos in buildings that were constructed after the year 2000.


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Shockingly it is estimated that over 5,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases each year. Also Asbestos is the largest industrial killer in the UK. The greatest risk to maintenance operatives is accidental disturbance. Asbestos can harm you if it gets into your alveoli. These are small air sacks in your lungs. It must be stressed that once asbestos fibres are in the lungs they cannot be expelled so prevention of "breathable" fibres is essential.


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Mesothelioma (pleura and peritoneum)


- Cancer of cells and the pleural membrane.

- It is only caused by asbestos.

- The onset is normally at least 20 years after initially being exposed.

- There is no evidence that it may occur after single exposures and is associated with a prolonged low dosage.

- It is always fatal – there is no cure, although much research is being carried out worldwide.

- Once diagnosed, death follows usually within a year.


Most mesothelioma deaths are a legacy of past occupational exposures to asbestos when it was widely used in the building industry;


There were 2,542 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2015, a similar number to the 2,538 deaths in 2013 and 2,548 deaths in 2012;

The annual mesothelioma deaths in recent years has been driven mainly by deaths among those aged 70 and above;

In 2015 there were 2,135 male deaths and 407 female deaths;

There were 2,170 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in 2016, compared with 2,145 in 2013.

Likely to be around 2,500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begins to decline.