Raising awareness about mesothelioma

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This Sunday, Americans, their federal departments and agencies and their media are being called upon to observe the annual US National Mesothelioma Awareness Day with ceremonies and activities.

Back in 2010, September 26 was earmarked by the US Congress as a special day to raise the American public’s awareness about mesothelioma and to encourage all Americans to help raise funds to combat the deadly cancer which is closely associated with inhaling microscopic asbestos dust.

Tragically, about 3,000 Americans die every year of mesothelioma and thousands more die of lung cancer related to asbestos.

In its promotion of the event, the American organisation Mesothelioma Help revealed that scientists are making progress with their work on potential mesothelioma therapies but sadly we are still years away from finding a cure. Such research is very expensive which is why national events such as this one in America and our own annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day in July are so important.

Here in the UK, more than 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. The high numbers of diagnoses here have been directly linked to the UK’s import and use of asbestos throughout the second half of the 20th century. Those most at risk are workers who were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis over a long period of time but even short-term exposures can cause the disease. Sadly, once people are diagnosed with the condition their expected survival time is between eight and 14 months.

In this country we are fortunate to have the support of a number of fantastic organisations, including Mesothelioma UK. The charity provides a wide range of support services to patients, including specialist nurses, a freephone information line, support groups, downloadable resources and benefits and legal advice. It also helps patients find out about mesothelioma clinical trials in the UK.

We are proud to support Mesothelioma UK and another relatively new organisation called ActionMeso which is committed to bringing together patient support groups, charities, carers, healthcare and legal professionals, construction companies and asbestos firms like our own. Together we are all calling for action to be taken to eradicate this incurable but preventable disease.

For our part we are proud to champion Mesothelioma UK and ActionMeso and will unashamedly take every opportunity we can to educate the public about asbestos and what we can all do to protect one another from the dangers its poses.

We regularly highlight the dangers of asbestos in our blogs and podcasts and work hard to educate people about their legal responsibilities when it comes to asbestos. Not everyone realises that when it comes to asbestos there are a host of regulations that you must follow. If you fail to manage asbestos properly in a non-domestic property or fail to make sure work is carried out safely on buildings containing asbestos you may put people’s lives at risk and you could be prosecuted, face heavy fines and court costs and even a custodial sentence.   

When it comes to asbestos it is always best to work with highly trained professionals – like our own team at Acorn Analytical Services – to make sure everything is being done correctly. If asbestos is not managed properly – or if it is disturbed during building or maintenance work – the consequences can be tragic.

So, we will continue to use any means we can to help people learn more about what they should do when it comes to asbestos and about the consequences of not managing it properly. As a result, to mark the US National Mesothelioma Awareness Day we will be running a dedicated social media campaign throughout Sunday on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help people learn more about mesothelioma and its impact. Don’t be shy when it comes to sharing our messages on Sunday – you could end up saving someone’s life.

In the meantime, if you need any help with your asbestos issues please get in touch with us so together we can help keep more people safe.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos removal management. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us   

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spend purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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