Insurance Industry Urged to Help Cut Asbestos Deaths

>> Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The insurance industry is being urged to fund research into mesothelioma, the deadly cancer affecting the lungs which is caused by breathing in asbestos dust.

The call for more research into the disease came from the British Lung Foundation’s honorary medical adviserDr John Moore-Gillon, a respiratory health expert.

Little is known about mesothelioma, despite the fact that the UK has the world’s highest rates of the disease. What we do know is that those affected are often people who worked in certain industries during the 1980s when asbestos was used extensively. Back then, there was little asbestos awareness, not to mention the training or asbestos certification that’s available today.

The disease is most prevalent in those who worked in industries like construction, shipbuilding, engineering and power generation, where there was a greater risk of heavy exposure to asbestos.

We also know that around 2,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year and that the Department for Work and Pensions has estimated a death toll of between 56,000 and 63,000 over the next 30 years if current trends continue.

Although the symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades to develop, once diagnosed mesothelioma is a swift killer,with many people living just months after their diagnosis. There is no cure and there are currently few effective treatments.

With asbestos related diseases continuing to blight the lives of those who have been exposed to the killer substance as well as their families, the call for research into the disease is gaining momentum.

Having insurers fund research into mesothelioma could be turn the tide on this deadly disease. More research could change the long-term outlook for those affected by mesothelioma and their families. 

But it could also work in the favour of the insurance companies too, by seeing the amount of compensation they have to pay out decrease.

Insurers are expected to end up paying out more than £11bn in compensation in the coming years. If a fraction of this could be used to fund research into mesothelioma, it could benefit some of the thousands of people affected, not to mention society as a whole.

Of course, it’s too late to help those who are already affected by asbestos related diseases but nowadays we are far more aware of the risks of working with asbestos.  Employers are largely aware of their responsibilities when it comes to the welfare of their staff, and pay the utmost regard to their duty to protect the health and safety of their employees.

Asbestos was banned as a building material during the 1980s, however having been used so widely prior to the law changes, asbestos still leaves a devastating legacy today.

Asbestos awareness training is as essential as ever. Natas have been providing high-quality asbestos training since 1996.

Natas asbestos training courses are recognised in the industry and also by the Health and Safety Executive for providing credible asbestos awareness training.

The company offers a comprehensive range of asbestos training to ensure that companies remain compliant and up-to-date with rules and regulation governing asbestos.

From award-winning asbestos awareness training and e-learning packages for large organisations, to asbestos awareness certification for individuals wanting to work in the industry, Natas offer a selection of cost-effective and flexible packages to suit different budgets and requirements.

Find out more about asbestos awareness certification and free asbestos awareness training at Natas.


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