Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have had to face the shocking revelation that the environments in which they worked while fighting fo their country were contaminated with the carcinogenic material asbestos. It happened long before the material’s deadly nature was widely known, though the companies that supplied the material were aware of its dangers. There is a heartbreaking irony to the fact that those men and women were sickened while trying to help advance a noble cause, and now that same dynamic is at play again in the United Kingdom, where it has been discovered that hospital workers and teachers are also at significant risk for asbestos-related diseases because their workplaces are similarly contaminated.
Word of the mesothelioma risk faced by staff members and patients at the United Kingdom’s National Health Services hospitals came from a Freedom of Information request. The request was submitted after an investigation by the BBC, and it discovered that out of the 211 hospital buildings whose administrators were questioned, 198 had known asbestos contamination. The news has brought a public outcry.
After learning that there have been 352 known legal claims made against the hospital trust specifically seeking compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, health advocates are asking what the government is going to do to to protect others from the same fate. Though the NHS Improvement organization is insisting that the asbestos is contained and poses no risk, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Occupational Health and Safety, Jo Stevens, dismisses those arguments, saying, “If it’s there it will at some point become dangerous if it’s disturbed or if it deteriorates, so I’d like to see long term plans and long term strategies in place for its removal from all buildings.” That group is calling for a full governmental audit, as well as a plan of action.
In addition to the news that hospital buildings have been identified as dangerous workplaces, the United Kingdom is facing a similar problem in its schools. A warning was issued by the National Education Union, pointing to more than 200 teacher deaths in the last 17 years. With so many structures built using asbestos before its dangers were known, there is a lot of remediation to be done.
Today’s we know that exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma, but that does little to help those who have already been exposed. Fortunately there are numerous benefits available to veterans who have been diagnosed with this disease. For information about how we can help you access the help you need, contact us today at 1-800-726-7245.