Two cultural icons, one silent killer – mesothelioma

Steve McQueen died from mesothelioma

HOLLYWOOD actor and ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen and former manager of the Sex Pistols Malcolm McClaren – both global, cultural icons but, tragically, also victims of asbestos-related mesothelioma.

Each year in the UK, 2,400 people – that’s six people every day – die from mesothelioma, a cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

Despite being banned for use in new buildings in 1999, asbestos can still be found in older buildings such as offices, homes, hospitals – and staggeringly more than 75% of schools.

So how can you keep yourself, your colleagues and those closest to you safe and protect against mesothelioma? In this blog, Acorn Analytical Services will help you find out.

Who does mesothelioma affect?

Put simply, according to Cancer Research UK, asbestos-related mesothelioma can affect anyone.

American actor, Steve McQueen, who starred in Hollywood blockbusters such as The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, was just 50 when he died from pleural mesothelioma in 1980, having started to develop symptoms, including a persistent cough, in 1978.

As a former US Marine, McQueen was heavily involved in the removal of asbestos lagging from pipes onboard troop ships, but he also believed it was used in movie sound stage equipment and in the protective, fireproof suits and helmets he wore when racing cars.

Fashion designer, artist and singer songwriter Malcolm McLaren was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in October 2009 and died just six months later aged 64.

Speaking at the time, his partner Young Kim, said she believed he had been exposed to asbestos after smashing the ceiling in his London boutique to make it look as though a bomb had hit it.

Both stories highlight just how important it is to understand the regulations around asbestos and make sure you comply fully with the law.

What steps can I take to protect myself?

In short, we want everybody to be asbestos aware.

If your home or building was built before 2000, and you know that asbestos exists, Acorn Analytical Services can help you to manage it safely. If you’re not sure, the only way to find out is by carrying out a full asbestos refurbishment survey. You’ll get the results back quickly and because we’re fully independent and impartial, we’ll give you the right advice about what to do next.

If you want to remove the asbestos in your building, as part of planned works, we can help you to manage the whole process safely, giving you complete peace of mind.

Despite being banned in the UK more than 20 years ago, asbestos continues to pose a significant threat in the workplace, particularly on construction sites if works are not managed in the correct way.

Acorn Analytical Services can work with contractors to offer asbestos air testing, before, after or while work is taking place to monitor if any asbestos fibres are in the air. Using an on-site, mobile laboratory, we are able to ensure any controls being used are effective and help to protect all those working on the site.

If it’s information you need, you can learn more in our book Asbestos: The Dark Arts or by downloading our podcast Asbestos: Knowledge Empire  – an audio guide for property managers which you can listen to on the go, hosted by myself and Director, Neil Munro.

We also offer a UK-wide health and safety consultancy, offering support with health and safety advice for business and construction, support with construction, design and management, fire risk assessments and legionella testing.

Whatever your asbestos or health and safety needs, we are here to help you.

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 spent 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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