Asbestos related deaths have doubled in West Dunbartonshire
Figures obtained by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
have revealed that the number of workers dying from asbestos related diseases
in West Dunbartonshire in Scotland has almost doubled in four years.
The figures show that in 2010, nine people died from mesothelioma
– a fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Just four years’ earlier in 2006, five people died from the cancer.
All the deaths involved men who had worked with asbestos and APIL president David Bott is calling on the government to provide more support for those diagnosed and dying with asbestos related diseases
“The number of men dying from this disease is expected to peak in the next five years – and what many people don’t realise is that hundreds of sufferers in Scotland and across the UK cannot get the compensation they need to help them through the last days of their life.
“What is needed is the UK government to bring forward proposals for a fund of last resort which would act as a safety net for injured workers who are otherwise unable to pursue the justice they deserve.”
Many of those diagnosed with asbestos related disease are unable to pursue claims because they are unable to trace employers
or the insurance companies of employers because the symptoms of such diseases can take years to manifest themselves and be diagnosed.
Workers who inhale asbestos fibres are at risk, but by the time they have been diagnosed employers and their insurers may have ceased trading or insurance documents may have been destroyed.
Mesothelioma is a debilitating form of lung cancer
which causes lesions on lung tissue, causing persistent cough, pain and breathing difficulties which eventually prove fatal. Benign forms of lung disease also mimic the symptoms of mesothelioma, making early-stage diagnosis difficult.