Recent statistics published by the Health & Safety Executive in relation to Mesothelioma cases in Great Britain makes grim reading for those who have been exposed to asbestos in the past.
• There were 2,542 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain in 2015, a similar number to the previous three years.
• The latest projections suggest that there will continue to be around 2,500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begin to decline.
• In 2015 there were 2,135 male deaths and 407 female deaths, similar to the annual numbers in among males and females in the previous three years.
• Men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively are now among those most at risk of mesothelioma.
“The continuing increase in male rates at age 70 years and above reflects the fact that this generation had the greatest potential for asbestos exposures in younger working life during the period of peak asbestos use in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. In contrast, rates for those under age 65 have been falling for some time. ”
North Tyneside and South Tyneside are among the areas with the highest male mesothelioma death rates while Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne are among the areas with the highest female mesothelioma death rates.
For men, the areas with the highest death rates tend to be those with a history of heavy industry such as areas with shipyards. However, asbestos exposure in the construction industry, which is not limited to specific areas, also accounts for a large amount of mesothelioma deaths.
“For males, the highest death rates from mesothelioma for the period as a whole (1981-2015) were seen in the North East, South East and Scotland. ”
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a particular form of tumour almost always associated with exposure to asbestos. It has been recognised by the medical profession since the 1960s.
Even relatively low exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma. You do not have to first suffer from asbestosis in order to get mesothelioma. It also has no connection with cigarette smoking.
Causes of Mesothelioma
It is caused when fine asbestos fibres become lodged in the tissues of the body after they have been inhaled (or ingested). They then cause inflammation as the body tries to break down the almost indestructible fibres. The body’s defence mechanisms try to break down the fibres but sometimes the “mesothelial cells” in the body become abnormal and develop into tumours.
Tumours can occur on the lining of the lung which is known as the “pleura” (a thin, transparent membrane that covers the lungs and lines the inside of the chest walls).
Alternatively tumours sometimes appear on a similar lining between your bowel and the abdominal and pelvic cavities that is known as the “peritoneum”.
How long does it take for Mesothelioma to Develop
The condition is slow to develop. The “latency period” between first exposure to asbestos and the development of clinically obvious mesothelioma is usually 20-35 years but can be as long as 50 years and as short as 10 years. Mesotheliomas have usually been growing for 10-12 years before becoming clinically obvious.
Mesothelioma Claims Sunderland
At Thompson and Co our senior solicitors have a great deal of experience in pursuing compensation claims for asbestos related mesothelioma arising from many industries including shipbuilding, ship-repairing, mining, construction, demolition, joinery, pipe-laying, insulation, chemical industry. Claims can also often be made for mesothelioma suffered by family members of those exposed to asbestos who may have contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos fibres brought home from work on clothing.