As in previous years, events take place during early July to raise awareness of the continuing danger of exposure to asbestos and to remember those who died from the disease. It is also the opportunity to be cautiously optimistic about ongoing research into treatments for the disease, particularly the development of immunotherapy.
We continue to lobby and work on behalf of those unknowingly exposed to asbestos during the course of their everyday working lives often at the fault of employers who historically failed to properly protect their work force from lethal asbestos dust. Families and friends are too often left to bear the terrible burden of such negligence following the death of a loved one.
Asbestos cancer primarily affects men who have worked as carpenters, electricians, fitters, boiler maintenance and similar, often more than 30 years ago, as well as dockers and those involved in shipbuilding. We also act for teachers and care staff exposed to asbestos in schools and hospitals, particularly as buildings fall into disrepair and protective lagging around pipes and boilers deteriorates.
Particularly worrying is a report in the press this week highlighting that asbestos in schools is often poorly managed, with staff frequently unaware of its location in the buildings they work in.
Last year, the government launched the asbestos management assurance process to investigate asbestos in schools. According to the Guardian, of the schools that took part in the survey, 87 per cent reported having asbestos in at least one of their buildings.
While the presence of asbestos in itself is not necessarily problematic, Fieldfisher’s Andrew Morgan said it is fair to say that some schools are likely putting some staff and pupils at risk. He welcomed assurance that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said it will now conduct inspections in certain schools to look at the way asbestos is managed.
Andrew Morgan is attending the AMD event in Liverpool hosted by asbestos victim support groups from Merseyside and from Cheshire. The all-day event involved a dove release at noon and one to one encounters with clinical and nursing experts and other support agencies. The event is being attended from civic dignitaries from Liverpool and the North West and has attracted 200 mesothelioma sufferers and their families and supporters.
AMD2019 Dove Release Merseyside and Cheshire Asbestos Victim Groups in Liverpool pic.twitter.com/0lvE9JGSHe— andrew morgan (@andrewmorganuk) July 5, 2019
Bridget Collier attended the Manchester Support Group event, which was supported by local MPs and nurses from Mesothelioma UK. The public gathered outside for a dove release in memory of those lost to mesothelioma, followed by a public meeting where Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester gave an opening speech followed by Lorraine Creech, lead Mesothelioma UK nurse. Fieldfisher also made donations to support Readley Support Group's and Cumbria and Lancashire Asbestos Support & Advice Group's Action Mesothelioma Day.
Meanwhile, Dushal Mehta, Sarah Wolf and Shaheen Mosquera will commemorate AMD on Friday 12 July 2019 at an event at Guys and St Thomas’ hospital and were pleased to be involved with the HASAG event in Portsmouth last week, where butterflies were once again released in memory of those who have died. HASAG continues to raise funds for those affected by asbestos cancer.
Fieldfisher are also proud to be sponsoring an event at Chatham Historic Dockyard on 9 July on behalf of The Mavis Nye Foundation. Peter Williams and Sarah Wolf will be attending the event to celebrate Mavis Nye and Ray Nye being awarded honorary degrees from the University of Kent.
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