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Asbestos compensation claims set to rise with UK having world's highest mesothelioma death rate

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UK deaths from mesothelioma are the highest in the world according to the Institute of Cancer Research, with more than 2,000 people-a-year dying from the asbestos-related disease.

In the US, mesothelioma deaths were three to five times fewer than in the UK.

Asbestos was widely used as a building, insulating and fireproof material from the 1950's to the 1980's and many workers were exposed were exposed to it in their employment.

In the past employers failed to provide their workers from the dangers of asbestos by for example by providing protective clothing, facemasks, effective extraction equipment or ventilation.

Common places where asbestos can be found included pipe and boiler lagging in power stations and other premises, roofing sheets on buildings as well as gutters and pipes, cement products, train carriage insulation, brake and clutch linings, gas fires and ovens and floor and ceiling tiles.

This means that workers who were worked in lagging, constructions, shipyards and the building trade such as roofers, joiners, painters and electricians are particularly at risk.

Due to the long latency period, it can be 30 to 40 years before someone exposed to asbestos develops symptoms, although not everyone exposed will suffer from an asbestos related illness.

Mesothelioma, a cancer generally associated with asbestos, is a terminal condition. Other asbestos related diseases include asbestosis, pleural thickening and lung cancer, all of which can be extremely debilitating.

Following intensive lobbying, the Government is now considering funding a National Asbestos Research Centre, to provide long overdue research into life-saving treatment to help those affected by asbestos.

Anyone who has been affected may be able to make an asbestos claim for compensation.

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