Statistics Reveal Highest Rates Of Fatalities Across England And Wales
New research revealing the areas of England and Wales with the highest rates of deaths linked to asbestos-related disease is a tragic reminder of the material’s “devastating legacy”, according to specialist lawyers.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysed the rate of mesothelioma deaths in local authority areas between 2010 and 2014, with Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria found to have the highest rate at 14.3 fatalities per 100,000 people.
South Tyneside (11.1), North Tyneside (10.9), Fareham (10.0) and Hartlepool (8.7) completed the top five, with Newcastle upon Tyne, Portsmouth and Southampton also following closely behind.
A total of 11,011 deaths where mesothelioma was found to be an underlying caused were recorded in England and Wales across the four-year period analysed, with the number of fatalities increasing every year.
According to specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who represent both victims diagnosed with mesothelioma and the loved ones of those who have passed away as a result of asbestos-related disease, the figures paint a worrying picture.
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“This research truly highlights the devastating impact that asbestos has had on so many lives, with more than 11,000 people passing away as a result of mesothelioma in the past four years alone.
“The suggestion that the number of people killed by this terrible cancer every year is increasing is a massive concern. Sadly many estimates do indicate that this figure has not yet peaked and will only increase in coming years.
“It is perhaps unsurprising to see so many areas with a strong industrial or shipping heritage being found to have high rates of mesothelioma deaths, as we have seen in the great majority of our cases how people have developed asbestos-related conditions many years after exposure to the material during work in such environments.
“However, such trends may not last. We are now seeing a growing number of people come forward seeking help regarding exposure they believe occurred in public buildings, such as hospitals and schools, where the material may have been present. With this in mind, the current landscape in England and Wales regarding asbestos-related deaths could soon change significantly.
“Ultimately, many lessons have been learned regarding asbestos and current safety standards are much higher than they were in the past. However, it is unfortunately the nature of asbestos-related disease that the true extent of the failings seen decades ago is only just coming to light now.”
Adrian Budgen - Partner