A recent report in the York (UK) Press revealed that the city’s old carriage factories have resulted in many residents eventually perishing from illnesses thought to be related to asbestos inhalation.
However, determining once and for all that a death was caused in some way from asbestos exposure is sometimes easier said than done for many of the affected families.
“Sadly, there is often a lack of clear medical evidence about the cause of health problems and family members may have little information about the deceased’s work history,” said Kim Daniells, the founder and chairwoman of the York Asbestos Support Group, according to the Press. “The bereaved who may be elderly and in frail health themselves can be faced with a coroner’s inquest to try to establish the cause of death.”
The YASG touts itself as a “formally constituted members’ organization dedicated to providing care, support, advice and assistance for those affected by asbestos related disease; their families and carers.” In addition to running a consultation service for those affected by asbestos related diseases, they also have thrown their support political decisions, such as the decision to introduce legislation in Scottish Parliament that would “restore the rights of individuals with pleural plaques to claim damages.”
The Press also reported that YASG has recently begun a campaign to end the mining and export of asbestos from Canada, while also donating to organizations looking to find a cure for asbestos-related illnesses.
Similar to many other countries around the world, the United States included, the United Kingdom is packed with buildings that contain asbestos products. According to the Health and Safety Executive, any building built before 2000 may contain asbestos, and asbestos products were used “extensively” as building materials throughout the country from the 1950s through the mid-1980s.
The widespread use of asbestos during the 20th Century has resulted in illnesses caused by the fibers still popping up regularly across the UK. According to the HSE, four plumbers, 20 tradesmen, six electricians, and eight joiners succumb to some type of asbestos-related disease every week.
Because asbestos products were used similarly in the construction of buildings across the United States during the same time period, it’s not surprising that so many Americans find themselves dealing with asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.