North East England records particularly high rate of asbestos-related deaths

As reported by the ChronicleLive website, figures have now been released detailing the number of deaths from asbestos-related disease across the UK over the last few decades, making for particularly grim reading for the North East of England.

North Tyneside and South Tyneside ranked third and fourth respectively on the death register, a sad reflection of the formerly thriving shipyard and building industry in this part of the country.

Thousands in the region recorded to have died due to asbestos

 The high occurrence of asbestos-related deaths in the North East is a subject that is especially close to our hearts here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, given the two offices that we maintain in the region, in Sunderland and Durham.

Nonetheless, given the history of the area, it sadly does not shock us that almost 6,300 deaths were recorded across the region from 1981 to 2015 due to exposure to the deadly fibres.

When the death numbers are compared to how many would normally be expected to die in the area – the standard mortality ratio – North Tyneside is placed third in the UK for the highest rate of male mesothelioma deaths, with 491. This compares to the 364 recorded for fourth-ranked South Tyneside, with only Barrow-in-Furness and West Dunbartonshire placing higher across the entire country.

As for female mesothelioma deaths, Sunderland came in second with 144, only beaten by Barking and Dagenham.

A truly bleak set of figures for the area

 The numbers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that between 1981 and 2015, 2,319 people – 1,969 male and 350 female – died of mesothelioma in the Tyne and Wear area alone. The rest of the North East saw 3,979 mesothelioma deaths – 3,415 male and 564 female – in the same timeframe.

It is all a very depressing reminder of the continued paramount importance of the work of asbestos removal contractors in ridding sites across the region and beyond of this potentially extremely dangerous material.

We can help to protect against the perils of asbestos

 Please contact the Trident Asbestos Solutions team today, on 03333 441555 or by completing and submitting our straightforward quote request form, to find out more about the work that our own professionals can do to make your premises safer.

We have offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and London as well as the North East of England, which enables us to provide a genuinely nationwide service.

Asbestos released from 1983 warehouse fire claims second victim

COD Donnington

 

The aftermath of a fire at the largest army storage warehouse in Europe has claimed its second victim, more than 30 years after the event itself.

Paula Ann Nunn died aged 68 from mesothelioma in September. The lung disease, a form of cancer, is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, and her death has been directly linked to the fire that took place at COD Donnington in 1983.

The fire sent an excessive amount of smoke, dust and debris high into the air, with it later raining down over a 15 square mile area. Particularly affected were the gardens of the people living nearby.

The extent of the debris was so great that the first victim of mesothelioma linked to the fire, Ellen Paddock, described “seeing snowflakes falling, and playing in them”. Tragically, these “snowflakes” were deposits of asbestos released by the fire. Mrs Paddock died in 2008, aged only 31.

Before her death, Mrs Nunn contacted Asbestos Support, telling them of the ash from the fire that had collected in her garden at the time of the fire. A local coroner stated: “For two days there were no warnings that the dust was dangerous and by this time a lot had accumulated over the local area, in particular in Mrs Nunn’s back garden.” Initially, it was denied that the ash contained asbestos, and it remained in the street for almost a week before a clean-up operation began.

Although Mrs Nunn’s death was recorded as accidental by her coroner, he pledged to keep the file on COD Donnington open, as it is sadly expected that further similar cases will open in the future.

Such incidents like these are far from isolated, however. Indeed, there have been dozens of cases worldwide in which mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos, specifically in ash following fires.

Such a high incidence of the disease should simply motivate your organisation all the more to invest in asbestos air testing if asbestos has been disturbed or exposure through damaged asbestos is presumed, of the kind that we can offer here at Trident Surveying.

Family of late asbestos victim appeals for information

asbestos management

 

Comprehensive asbestos surveys in Birmingham may now thankfully be widespread practice, but that has sadly come too late for many of those to come into contact with the lethal substance. One such person was West Bromwich father-of-four Gary Williams, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2012, before dying in July 2013.

Although mesothelioma – a cancer in the lining of the lungs – is strongly associated with exposure to the deadly dust, his family is still unsure exactly how that occurred, leading his daughter, Claire, to appeal for information from her father’s one-time colleagues at Rugeley Power Station, where he previously worked as a scaffolder.

It was initially the 66-year old himself who instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist industrial disease solicitors to investigate whether every possible measure was taken to avoid him coming into contact with asbestos – a fight for justice that Claire has continued on his behalf. She and Irwin Mitchell are requesting that Gary’s former co-workers at the British Building and Engineering Association (BB and EA) between 1965 and 1971 get in touch with them.

Not only is it thought that these workers could possess invaluable evidence concerning the substance’s presence at the various sites where Gary was contracted to work, but they may also be able to provide insight into the company’s working conditions. Gary was handed his devastating diagnosis of terminal disease at a time when the family was still struggling to come to terms with his wife Betty’s sudden death in summer 2012.

Lung cancer no longer just a ‘smokers’ disease’

Lung cancer should no longer be seen as a “smokers’ disease” because one in five new cases has nothing to do with the habit, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK has said.A drop in the number of smokers means that fewer are developing lung cancer, but the number of people who contract the disease from other causes, such as asbestos, remains steady at about 6,000 per year in the UK.It means that while smoking is still the leading cause of lung cancer, the proportion of non-smoking related cases is growing larger over time.Speaking at the launch of a major genetic study of the disease on Wednesday Dr HarpalKumar said: “It is not so long ago that we used to say more than nine in ten lung cancers were smoking-related, and now we say eight in ten.”People tend to think it is just a smokers’ disease, but it isn’t,” he added. “It is a significant problem, and one that is growing globally.”While scientists have made major improvements in diagnosis and treatment for breast and other cancers in recent years, there has been virtually no improvement in lung cancer survival rates since 1970.Along with problems like the typically late diagnosis of lung cancer, which makes it harder for researchers to obtain biopsies for studies and recruit patients to trials, the perception of the condition as a problem for smokers could be one reason why progress has been so slow, Dr Kumar said.The new £14 million study launched on Wednesday is aimed at tracking the genetic changes which trigger the growth of tumours and help them develop resistance to drugs.Genetic mutations are known to drive the development of cancer, but are also the target of drugs aimed at stopping tumours in their tracks.The project, one of the largest ever studies of lung cancer patients, will focus on how tumours continue to develop new mutations as they grow, making them genetically complex.Their continued evolution means all cells in a tumour do not share the same characteristics and are often quite different – a major problem which has hindered progress in developing new drugs for the disease.Over the course of nine years scientists will analyse thousands of tumour biopsies from 850 patients across the UK, examining the genetic differences within individual tumours and between different patients.Identifying which mutations occur first, and are therefore shared by the largest proportion of cells in a tumour, could allow doctors to select the drug with the biggest potential impact for each individual patient.Prof Charlie Swanton of Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute and University College London, who is leading the study, said: “Success in treating lung cancer has been difficult to achieve but we’re hoping to change that.”The first step to improving cancer diagnosis and treatment is to understand more about the disease and how it changes over time.”Source – The Telegraphhttp://bit.ly/15YUf96

asbestos surveys, asbestos disease, asbestos management

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