Areas around London and the South-East of England have some of the highest rates in the UK of the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.
Figures published in 2016 by the Office for National Statistics show that several boroughs in the region have especially high levels of mesothelioma compared to other parts of the UK.
Mesothelioma is a terrible legacy of our industrial past. It typically takes about 30-40 years from when exposure first took place for the symptoms to develop. London has been badly affected by asbestos diseases as a result of heavy industry in the area. Large amounts of raw asbestos fibre were discharged from ships coming into London Docks and many dockworkers have contracted asbestos diseases.
Asbestos insulation materials were manufactured at the now closed site of Cape Asbestos in Barking. Cape also operated factories around Uxbridge where asbestos sheets and other building materials were manufactured.
Many other workers have also been blighted by asbestos diseases such as workers at power stations where asbestos was used to insulate pipework, boilers and other machinery and building workers like joiners due to the extensive use of asbestos building sheets in the construction of houses and other premises.
Government statistics published in 2016 show that Essex and Kent are particularly badly affected by mesothelioma. Castle Point has more than twice the national average number of deaths due to mesothelioma. The area has the fourth highest national rate in England and Wales. Brentwood in Essex is also badly hit having the eighth highest rate in England and Wales.
Kent is badly affected by mesothelioma. Large numbers of people from the region previously worked at Chatham Naval Dockyard. Asbestos was extensively used for insulation in ships because of its fire resistant qualities.
Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive in 2014 show that Medway had the sixth highest rate of deaths from mesothelioma in the UK. Swale and Thanet were both particularly affected.
London has a number of centres of excellence in relation to the treatment of mesothelioma. Bart’s Hospital has one of the largest outpatient clinics in the UK for patients with mesothelioma. It has established a research team consisting of a group of doctors, nurses and laboratory researchers aiming to improve the treatment for mesothelioma and lung cancer and to increase understanding of the conditions. Bart’s Mesothelioma Research operates a programme of clinical trials and treatments pioneered at Bart’s have become accepted around the world.
Bringing an asbestos disease claim
At Leigh Day we have an expert team of specialist asbestos solicitors with many years of experience of dealing with compensation claims on behalf of asbestos disease sufferers. London-based partners Daniel Easton, Harminder Bainesand Vijay Ganapathy have extensive experience of acting for asbestos disease sufferers and recovering significant amounts of compensation for victims of mesothelioma.