Mesothelioma: Not a Problem of the Past
Posted: September 2, 2014
Posted in: Asbestos Exposure Industrial Deafness and Disease Mesothelioma
James Cant, head of British Lung Foundation Scotland has made clear that the effects of asbestos are still very much a part of Scotland and should be afforded greater attention.
Mr Cant outlined that while the shipyards, coal-mines and steel works have long gone, the legacy of industrial disease lives on. At the height of Scotland’s industrial period, thousands of young workers were exposed to the dangerous substance asbestos without and protective equipment.
In previous years very little was known about the disease and we are only now beginning to understand the devastating effect it can have on human health. Asbestos exposure is not a historical problem, but one that continues to affect thousand of families across Scotland today.
Asbestos related disease often doesn’t appear until decades after exposure to the substance and thus we are only discovering the gravity of the problem years after industry exposure has ceased.
Mesothelioma, a form of cancer, is the most well known disease caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease usually affects the lungs but is essentially scarring of the lining of the organs.
The illness is difficult to detect and it is extremely difficult to treat effectively. Furthermore, the disease often doesn’t until the victim is over 50 and after the disease has developed victims have a very short life expectancy, with 10 percent surviving only 3 years after diagnosis.
The UK has the highest rate of mesothelioma of any country in the world with West Dumbartonshire having the highest rate among councils in the UK. This rate is also not diminishing – it is predicted that 2500 people will die of the disease in the next year and 60,000 will die over the next 30 years.
Unless a cure for the disease is found, these thousands of people who have been accidently exposed to asbestos will contract and die from Mesothelioma. It is difficult so tell exactly how many people will be affected by a loved one contracting this disease.
Despite these startling statistics, research into mesothelioma does not attract anywhere near the same amount of funding as other cancers- it receives less than a tenth of the funding given to leukaemia says Mr Cant.
Millions however is paid out each year to victims of the disease and their loved ones. The cost of future compensation for the disease is projected to be greater than £11 billion. This is demonstrative of exactly how many potential victims of the disease there are and also how current the problem of mesothelioma is.
If you or a loved one have been affected by mesothelioma or any other asbestos related injury, you may be due compensation.
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