Campaign shines a spotlight on dangers of asbestos

Ian Stone and Neil Munro_What does asbestos mean to me_2021GAAW

One of the UK’s most experienced teams of asbestos experts is championing a global campaign which launches today to raise awareness of the deadly substance.

Leading asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services is backing Global Asbestos Awareness Week – which runs from April 1 to April 7 – with the launch of its own campaign entitled ‘What does asbestos mean to me?’.

Throughout the week Acorn will release specially made videos of people – from medical practitioners and asbestos removal experts to campaigners and people affected by asbestos-related diseases – answering the question ‘What Does Asbestos Mean to Me?’

Company director Neil Munro said: “Every year, around 90,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases around the globe – 5,000 of these in the UK – and asbestos exposure remains the world’s number one cause of work-related deaths. Even though asbestos use was banned in the UK in 1999, around 1.5 million properties in the UK still have asbestos in them. This figure could be radically reduced if we all became more aware of the dangers of asbestos.

“We hope that through our campaign, which runs during Global Asbestos Awareness Week, we can personalise the issue of asbestos and get across why it is so much more than a problem with old buildings. We want to give people whose lives have been impacted by asbestos a platform to talk about their story, raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and encourage the public to be on alert for asbestos in their everyday lives, not only in their own properties but also when visiting public buildings, so together we can save lives.”

Acorn’s campaign has won the backing of leading charities Mesothelioma UK and ActionMeso which both work to improve the lives of people suffering from mesothelioma – an incurable cancer caused by asbestos which kills thousands of people in the UK each year.

Mesothelioma UK CEO Liz Darlison said: “We’re delighted to see the work Acorn Analytical Services does to educate people about the dangers of asbestos. The UK has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world, with more than 2,700 people diagnosed each year and sadly this number continues to rise.

“Asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma are a public health disaster and sadly, we’re seeing patients who have been exposed in an increasing number of locations including hospitals, schools, factories, dockyards, the armed forces and many more.

“It’s imperative we work together as a community and engage with employers, governments, councils, support groups and all responsible parties to do all that we can to protect future generations against the dangers of asbestos and to find ways to better treat and care for those already affected.”

Mesothelioma patient Mavis Nye, who is a leading member of ActionMeso, added: “In the past, asbestos to me meant safety from fire and heat. I wore oven gloves containing asbestos and used ironing boards containing asbestos. At race meetings drivers were safe as they wore asbestos protection. Safe was the word until people began getting cancers from the fibre.

“The ships my husband Ray worked on had been safe from fire but when they were being refitted in the dockyard that cruel fibre was killing workers.

“Now asbestos means mesothelioma to me – a cruel disease that’s taken so many family and friends and I have it too. I want asbestos out of the modern world to keep people safe.”

For further information on the ‘What does asbestos mean to me?’ campaign, go to https://www.acorn-as.com.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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