Finding out about mesothelioma

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On Friday I attended a meeting of Mesothelioma Support, Yorkshire in Leeds.

The group was set up 12 months ago with the aim of providing support and practical advice to people with mesothelioma and their carers from across the region.

The meeting was addressed by former MP Mick Clapham who was chairman of the all-party health and safety group and asbestos sub-committee 1995-2010.

In the 1930s, 160 factories produced asbestos in this country. The danger of asbestos existed not only in factories, the dangerous fibres could also be carried on the clothes of workers into the household exposing whole families to the danger.

In 1965 the link between asbestos dust and mesothelioma was clearly established. In 1985 blue and brown asbestos was banned in Britain and white asbestos was banned in 1999.

Asbestos can be found in many old buildings such as hospitals and schools. A third of all Kirklees housing stock has asbestos present and the council has specially trained staff to identify it.

On a recent visit to my doctors I noticed publicity available in the surgery explaining the dangers of asbestos.

A lawyer present at the meeting in Leeds said her clients claiming compensation for mesothelioma were getting younger.

A mesothelioma bill is currently being debated in parliament to assist victims in their fight for compensation.

Unfortunately the government only wants to settle on claims from July 2012 and pay only 70 per cent of what they are entitled to.

The fight clearly goes on.

Mesothelioma Support, Yorkshire meets every six weeks on a Friday afternoon at the Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds.

Anyone wanting to know more about the group can contact Simon Bolton, Macmillan lung cancer nurse specialist on 01423 555872.


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