HSE Reveals Increase In Mesothelioma Deaths
A leading North East industrial illness lawyer says the fight for justice for Mesothelioma sufferers will continue for years to come as thousands are still dying of the disease each year in the UK.
The call came from Roger Maddocks, partner and industrial illness specialist at the North East office of law firm Irwin Mitchell, as the Health and Safety Executive released the statistics for Mesothelioma deaths nationally during 2007.
The latest national figures revealed that 2,156 people died of the fatal asbestos-related cancer in 2007, up from 2,058 for the previous year.
The North East is still the UK’s worst-hit region. The region’s male death rate per million people rose to 89.52 for the period from 2005-2007, increasing from 87.08 for 2002-2004. The next closest is the south east with a death rate of 73.4 deaths per million people.
The North East’s female death rate has risen even more sharply, from 11.19 for 2002-4, up to 16.41 in 2005-7.
Roger Maddocks said: “Although we have known for years that the Mesothelioma death rate was set to peak some time around 2015, seeing the cold, hard statistics always brings home the extent of the problem we continue to face in the UK.
“We handle scores of cases involving Mesothelioma victims annually and each and every one is utterly heartbreaking. It is a fast-acting and fatal disease, the effects of which are felt keenly in the North East.
“One of the most sickening aspects of these cases is that the majority of the people involved have been negligently exposed to asbestos by employers who, quite simply, knew the risks involved and continued to put the lives of their workforce at risk.
“We are increasingly seeing cases involving younger people who worked in old buildings like schools and hospitals while there is a rise in cases where family members have been exposed to the deadly fibres brought home on the overalls of their husband or father.
“Although the damage has largely been done now – both current and future sufferers were mostly exposed to asbestos decades ago – we must not stop fighting for justice for the victims and their families whose lives have been torn apart by this disease.”