Asbestosis news

 

Positive result for mesothelioma claimants in Bussey v Anglia Heating Ltd

We are delighted to read that the Bussey’s appeal has been allowed and that the Judges rejected Technical Data Note 13 as the test in determining the applicable levels of asbestos exposure in mesothelioma cases. 

David Bussey was a plumber. He was exposed to asbestos during two periods of employment so there was more than one defendant to the claim. The claim against Avery Way Electronics Limited settled for £150,000 and the case continued against the remaining defendant, Anglia Heating Limited, with whom he was employed from about 1965 to 1968. During that time he handled and cut asbestos cement pipes (with a hacksaw), swept up asbestos and used asbestos rope for caulking joints. 

When the case first came to trial, the judge ruled that his asbestos exposure fell below the levels set out in Technical Data Note 13 (TDN13). TDN13 was a document issued by HM Factory Inspectorate in March 1970. This stated that criminal liability would not be incurred where the concentration of asbestos dust in the workplace was kept below certain specified limits.

In the case of Williams –v- University of Birmingham [2001] EWCA CIV 12 42, it was held that a claim could not succeed if the exposure was below the levels in TDN13. This made it far more difficult to succeed in obtaining justice for injured victims in low level asbestos mesothelioma cases. The judge in Williams laid down a binding proposition that employers were entitled to regard exposure at levels below those identified in TDN13 as safe, resulting in TDN13 being used as a guide as to what were acceptable and unacceptable levels of exposure in 1974. 

However, the Court of Appeal judgment in Bussey rejects the proposition that employers were entitled to regard exposure levels below those specified in TDN13 as being safe. Lord Justice Jackson says in the judgment that: “TDN13 sets out the exposure levels which, after May 1970, would trigger a prosecution by the Factory Inspectorate. That is a relevant consideration. It is not determinative of every case”. 

The decision in Bussey means that while TDN13 is a guide, it is not the benchmark for asbestos exposure and TDN13 does not establish a safe limit for exposure to asbestos. 

We are delighted that the often-quoted benchmark of TDN13 has now been overturned. 

The case has been sent back to the trial judge for him to re-determine the issue of liability and we are now awaiting that decision.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos related disease, we may be able to help. Contact us on 0800 884 0718 or email IDClaims@boyesturner.com for a free initial discussion.

Education Bursary - Alison Bain's story

As specialists in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease claims, Boyes Turner appreciate the valuable work carried out by the lung cancer nurses who support and care for victims of asbestos exposure during their hospital treatment and palliative care. 

In recognition of the value of their work, the importance of ongoing education and research into asbestos disease and the significant costs involved in updating their knowledge and skills, Boyes Turner offer sponsorship to nurses involved in thoracic oncology via an educational bursary. The bursary is awarded selectively, on application, to a limited number of nurses each year at Boyes Turner’s discretion.

Alison Bain, Lead Clinic Nurse Specialist at Royal Stoke University Hospital, reviews her experience after receiving sponsorship to attend the 2017 Annual Conference of the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN).

“The National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses Annual Conference provides a tremendous opportunity for pollination of new ideas, innovations, learning from past experiences and is an invaluable resource to all that attend.

This year’s conference was fantastic, so I am truly grateful to Boyes Turner LLP for providing funding; without this, I certainly would not have been able to go.

The programme delivered an excellent range of patient centred topics, covering interesting facts, strategic development and interventions. On a personal level, conference highlights included the interactive sessions, debate and Symposium sessions.

Drew Povey was an exceptional motivational speaker; his delivery on leadership and ‘Making THE Difference’ was fantastic and an inspiration to all of us. This was a session not to be missed and something that will be etched on the minds of members for many years to come!

The interactive session on tobacco addiction, with our role, as frontline CNSs, playing a key role in tackling this problem, was entertaining to say the least and stimulated competition within the groups. Likewise, the debate for the right to a HNA was extremely witty, well delivered but also challenged personal opinions and provided an opportunity for reflection.

Consideration for future workforce planning and establishing competencies required for the next generation of Nurse Specialist, debate around the necessity to adapt to the ever-changing environment and push for succession planning strategies as budgets tighten, stimulated many discussions about CNS personal and academic development. Group work created an initial draft of bullet points which were considered to be essential in the validation of lung cancer specific competencies. Other broader issues gave ‘food for thought’ on sustainable and viable working practices, the need to adapt and be creative and how to implement an accelerated diagnostic pathway.

New developments, research and treatment considerations for mesothelioma and NSCLC third generation agents, poster presentations and the general presence of sponsored stands ensured that the event catered for all needs.

A truly enjoyable event, thank you.”

Alison Bain, Lead Clinic Nurse Specialist, Royal Stoke University Hospital

To learn more about our Education Bursary and how you can get involved please contact bursaries@boyesturner.com.

 

Is there a link between Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Asbestos?

Asbestos-related disease deaths

The Health and Safety Executive predicts that the number of deaths from mesothelioma will peak in or around 2020. This is based upon the amount of asbestos imported into the UK and the widespread, industrial use of asbestos, particularly between 1950 to 1980.

The expectation is that as asbestos use declined, exposure to asbestos dust would also have declined and therefore the number of deaths is expected to drop accordingly.

Most diseases caused by exposure to asbestos have long latency periods of typically between 20 and 50 years, which is why there is such a long time between the reduction in the use of asbestos and the predicted peak in asbestos-related mortality.

What is IPF? 

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an irreversible lung disease which results in breathlessness which will worsen over time. ‘Pulmonary fibrosis’ is used to describe the scarring of the lung tissue which causes the shortness of breath. The designation ‘idiopathic’ is given when the cause of the lung fibrosis is unknown.

Who does IPF affect?

Mortality due to IPF in the UK continues to rise and accounts for approximately 5000 deaths per year. In 2012 about 32,500 people were diagnosed with IPF in the UK, with a high incidence in Northern Ireland, North West Scotland, Scotland and Wales. The risk and incidence of IPF increases significantly with age, so IPF is diagnosed more frequently in those over 40. 

How is it distinct from asbestosis?

Whilst IPF shares many of the same characteristics as asbestosis, one of the most important distinctions is that a claim for compensation cannot be made for IPF, but a claim can be made for asbestosis. 

Why is IPF on the increase?

There appears to be no reason for the rising incidence of IPF in the UK. IPF has been linked with occupations such as metal and woodworkers, textile or stone exposure or from cattle or farming exposure. Infection from particular viruses might be another cause. 

Can IPF be linked with asbestos exposure?

A recent study compared the number of deaths of mesothelioma, asbestosis and IPF with the level of asbestos imported for the relevant latency period. The number of male deaths due to IPF and mesothelioma for each year was very similar.

The number of female deaths due to IPF and mesothelioma also increased. The number of female deaths due to IPF was consistently higher than those due to mesothelioma.

However, the number of asbestosis deaths was lower for males and did not increase for females. 

What does this all mean?

The results of the study showed that the rising number of asbestos deaths and historic asbestos importation was connected.  The number of deaths due to IPF was also significantly related to previous asbestos imports. 

Although the study cannot conclude that IPF is caused by exposure to asbestos, it does raise interesting questions as to whether IPF is in fact due to unrecognised asbestos exposure.

Until clinical evidence is identified which links IPF with asbestos exposure, clinicians will be reliant upon patients providing clear evidence of their asbestos exposure when assessing whether or not pulmonary fibrosis could be asbestosis. If the patient cannot provide detailed evidence of exposure to asbestos dust, then it is highly likely that they will be diagnosed with IPF. 

When is it asbestosis?

In order to prove a claim for asbestosis, the history of asbestos exposure needs to be moderate to heavy for many years, together with clinical evidence of asbestosis.

An asbestosis claim can be proven where there is an occupational history of one year with heavy exposure to asbestos or five to 10 years of moderate exposure to asbestos. As a general rule the greater the level of exposure, the greater the extent of the asbestosis.

Disclosure documents in Cape claim to be made publicly available

The Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK has championed a campaign to the High Court to prevent the destruction of a vast number of documents, which were pulled together as a part of disclosure in the case of Concept 70 & others v Cape International Holdings Ltd [2017].

What was the Concept 70 case?

The original claim from Concept 70 was for a financial contribution from Cape, to the settlement of a number of asbestos disease claims which related to asbestos exposure between 1955 and 1980 with Cape.

A huge amount of disclosure was pulled together as a part of this claim in order to consider the insurers request for contributions from Cape. The Concept 70 case was settled before any judgment was handed down and The Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK had heard that a term of the settlement was that many of the documents held by Cape would soon be destroyed.

What did the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK do?

The Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK appointed Graham Dring to bring the claim on their behalf. An application to the Court that these historic asbestos documents be preserved was made, pending a further application for disclosure.

On 5 December 2017 Master McCloud in the High Court, who also used to sit as a specialist asbestos judge, granted permission for a number of disclosure documents in the Concept 70 claim to be made available including witness statements, expert reports, transcripts, disclosed documents relied on by the parties at Trial, written submissions and skeletons and statements of case.

Why is this decision important?

The decision to order disclosure of these documents is significant for both mesothelioma claims generally and in particular future and current claims against Cape. It is hoped that the documents will allow an insight into the historic practices surrounding the use of asbestos in the asbestos industry and will assist mesothelioma and asbestos claimants to progress their claims as swiftly as possible to a successful conclusion.

What is so important about Cape?

Cape is intrinsically linked with the asbestos industry in the UK. It has frequently been thought that Cape hid their knowledge of the dangers of asbestos from their work force and the general public for 

a number of years, these documents will hopefully shed some light on this. Cape played a critical role in the asbestos industry and gave evidence to the Advisory Committee on Asbestos and heavily influenced historic policies on asbestos usage.

We fully support the decision to allow for disclosure of Cape’s documents and believe that this will greatly benefit our clients with mesothelioma.

What might the documents be used for?

In handing down her judgment Master McCloud considered the request for what the documents might be used for:

  • Make the material publicly available
  • To promote academic consideration as to the science and history of asbestos and asbestolux exposure and production
  • To improve the understanding of the genesis and legitimacy of TDN13 and any industry lobbying leading to it in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Understand the industrial history of Cape and its development of knowledge of asbestos safety
  • Clarify the extent to which Cape is or is not responsible for product safety issues arising from the handling of asbestolux boards
  • To assist court claims and the provision of advice to asbestos disease sufferers.

Mavis Nye Foundation - Here to help all 'Meso Warriors'

On 07 December 2017 Boyes Turner Solicitors attended the Mavis Nye Foundation launch party at the Richmond Hill Hotel.

The Mavis Nye Foundation was started by Mavis herself following her lengthy, but successful battle with mesothelioma that started in 2009.

Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos, the Industrial Disease team at Boyes Turner help sufferers and their families to get compensation from former employers to provide for their families after they are gone or in the case of one of the teams most recent high profile cases making sure that there is funding for treatment that is not available on the NHS.

The foundation has many aims, though its primary ones are:

  1. To raise funds for vital research in to mesothelioma treatments and cures.
  2. To fund specialist mesothelioma medical experts and lung cancer nurses.
  3. To provide hardship grants to mesothelioma victims and their families.

The launch party was well attended with some 200 people attending to include medical experts, lawyers, scientists and a number of "Meso Warriors", the surviving family members of mesothelioma victims.

The party included a champagne reception, a 3-course silver service meal, a raffle, an auction and an evening of dancing from Mavis' son who provided a night of 60's music entertainment.

The evening raised thousands of pounds for the foundation and Boyes Turner were delighted to donate a number of prizes to the raffle and auction.

Below are a number of photographs from the evening.

 

If you would like to donate to the Mavis Nye Foundation please visit

14th Edition Judicial College Guidelines published

The 14th Edition Judicial College (JC) Guidelines have now been published and these reveal increased recommended compensation awards for asbestos victims.

The JC Guidelines are a set of guidelines for the courts and lawyers to refer to when considering the level of compensation a personal injury victim should receive following an injury.

The JC Guidelines categorise injuries by severity, with categories ranging from something simple, such as a minor soft tissue injury right through a catastrophic injury such as a brain or serious spinal injury.

Included within the JC Guidelines are awards for asbestos related injuries.

The table below shows the old and new award brackets for various asbestos related injuries.

Condition:Old bracket:New bracket:
Mesothelioma£56,650 – £101,750£61,410 – £110,380
Lung cancer£56,650 – £78,650£61,410 – £85,340
Asbestosis and pleural thickening with a 1% – 10% respiratory disability£12,210 – £31,075£13,230 – £33,700
Asbestosis and pleural thickening with a 10%+ respiratory disability£31,075 – £85,580£33,700 – £92,820

Boyes Turner are pleased to see that the recommended level of compensation for each type of asbestos related injury award has increased.

The level of award an asbestos victim will receive within each bracket will depend on a number of factors to include:

1. The age of the victim.

2. The level of respiratory deficit suffered.

3. Whether specialist treatment or corrective surgery is required.

4. The length of suffering the person is expected to go through.

5. Whether the disease is fatal.

Boyes Turner are specialists in obtaining the maximum compensation for asbestos victims and have assisted hundreds of clients in obtaining justice in the past.

The problem of asbestos related diseases and uninsured employers

Asbestos related conditions are known as ‘long tail’ diseases. That is to say, they manifest themselves several years after the exposure to asbestos took place. In some cases, the symptoms do not manifest themselves until 50 or even 60 years after inhaling the toxic fibres.

The problem of asbestos related diseases and uninsured employers

This can cause significant problems for claimants with asbestos diseases. It is quite commonplace for a claimant to have been exposed to asbestos by one of their former employers who have long since been dissolved by the time the claimant is suffering from an asbestos related disease.

Employers’ liability insurance

In this situation, they key question is whether or not the employer had employers’ liability insurance at the time the claimant was exposed to asbestos while in their employment. If insurance was in place, we can make an application to the companies court to restore the defunct company to the register of companies at Companies House. Once they have been restored, we can issue court proceedings against them and, in the event of a successful claim, the insurers will have to pay the claimant’s damages. This is a process that the industrial disease team at Boyes Turner are very familiar with and we have successfully resolved many claims of this nature.

The problem of asbestos related diseases and uninsured employers

However, if the claimant’s former employer is defunct and they did not have any insurance in place when the claimant worked there, this process is of no help to the claimant. There is no benefit in restoring the claimant’s former employer to the register of companies and issuing court proceedings against them if there are no insurers to pay out in the event of a successful claim.

Employers’ liability insurance was not compulsory until the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 came into effect on 1 January 1972. As such, there were many employers who did not have insurance before this date and, since many people were exposed to asbestos by their employers in the 1950s and 1960s, this is a particular problem in asbestos disease cases.

In many cases, claimants are simply unable to claim as their previous employer is defunct and did not have any insurance, meaning there is no – one to pay any damages to the claimant.

‘Dose related’ diseases

Asbestosis, pleural scarring and asbestos-related cancer are ’dose-related’ diseases. This means that the more asbestos a person is exposed to, the higher the risk for developing these diseases. The usual approach in such cases is to apportion the damages on a time exposure basis. For example, if a claimant worked for one employer for 5 years and another employer for 5 years (and the levels of asbestos exposure were similar with each employer), each employer would be responsible for 50 per cent of the damages awarded to the claimant.

If a claimant has a dose related disease they may be grossly under – compensated. For example, they may have worked with asbestos for 10 years, but their employer was only insured for two of these (that is to say, 20 per cent of the time that the claimant was working with asbestos). In this situation, they would only receive 20 per cent of the true value of their claim. This is known as a ‘Holtby discount’ after the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Holtby v Brigham & Cowan (Hull) Ltd [2000].

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

Thankfully, there is now a scheme in place to compensate claimants who were exposed to asbestos by a defunct employer with no insurance and have gone on to contract mesothelioma. This is called the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme and is funded by a levy on insurers. The industrial disease team at Boyes Turner have successfully made many claims under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme on behalf of claimants in this situation.

The problem of asbestos related diseases and uninsured employers

However, claimants in this situation who are suffering from lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening are simply unable to claim.

The situation is different for people who are injured in road traffic accidents due to the negligence of an uninsured driver. In this scenario, the innocent driver is able to claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which is an insurer funded organisation in place to compensate victims of the acts of negligence by uninsured drivers. This would seem to be perfectly reasonable. If someone is injured, through no fault of their own, by an uninsured driver, it hardly seems fair for them to bear their losses themselves.

However, there are also many people who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening and are unable to claim compensation as they were exposed to asbestos by an uninsured employer.

The obvious solution would seem to be to extend the scope of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme to claimants who are suffering from other asbestos related conditions. Unfortunately, there are no plans to do this at the moment which means that many innocent claimants will not be compensated.

Who is allowed to remove asbestos?

Asbestos removal is an extremely hazardous activity and it is recommended that it is carried out by fully trained and properly equipped workers, it is for these reasons there are strict Regulations governing who can carry out the work.

Asbestos removal

The Regulations are designed to protect people from releasing harmful asbestos fibres in the working environment which could harm workers and others in the area, to ensure correct post-removal clean-up operations are conducted so as to leave the work site in a safe condition after the work is completed and to ensure that the asbestos waste is disposed of in a safe and controlled manner.

Work with asbestos containing materials is split into three categories:

  1. Licensed – the highest category
  2. Notifiable non-licensed – the second highest category and
  3. Non-licensed – the lowest category

Each category of work reflects the level of risk involved in the task.

In order to determine which category the work should fall in to a number of factors are taken in to consideration to include:

  1. The type of asbestos material involved (amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite)
  2. The condition of the asbestos product
  3. The amount of asbestos to be removed and
  4. The length of time the work will take

Usually the condition of the asbestos and the longer the duration of the job, the higher the category.

However it is important to remember that even jobs that are classified as non-licensed works require risk assessments to be conducted against them and then they can only be carried out by specialist workers who have received the relevant training to enable them to conduct the works safely.  These Regulations apply in the home, as well as in workplaces, and homeowners should not attempt DIY asbestos removals unless they have had the correct advice and training.

Employing a licensed asbestos removal contractor

If your asbestos removal project involves any of the following types of asbestos containing materials, you will need to employ a specialist licensed asbestos removal contractor.

  1. Loose fill insulation
  2. Pipe lagging
  3. Sprayed coatings (also known as limpet asbestos)
  4. Millboard or
  5. Asbestos insulating board (AIB), unless the risk assessment you have compiled identifies that the work will be of a “short duration”

Notifiable non-licensed asbestos removal projects

If your asbestos removal project involves any of the asbestos containing materials listed below, it will almost certainly be classified as notifiable non-licensed work:

  1. Asbestos insulating board (AIB), where the risk assessment identifies that the work will be “short duration”
  2. Textured decorative coatings such as artex
  3. Damaged asbestos cement products, such as corrugated roofing sheets
  4. Asbestos cement products that need to be broken up to be removed and
  5. Asbestos paper and cardboard products

Notifiable non-licensed work means the local enforcing authority will need to be informed of the project before the works start. Typically the local enforcing authority will be the Health and Safety Executive or the local council.

Notifiable non-licensed work can only be carried out by trained asbestos removal specialists following specific health and safety procedures involving the use of specialist personal protective equipment and special extractor units.

Non-licensed asbestos removal jobs

If your asbestos removal project involves the removal of the materials listed below, it is likely to be classified as non-licensed work:

  1. Asbestos cement products in good condition that can be removed intact and without the risk of releasing asbestos fibres
  2. AIB fire doors
  3. Small areas of textured decorative coatings to allow for work such as installing new light fittings and
  4. AIB panels that are screwed in place (providing they can be taken out intact) to gain access for maintenance work

While this sort of work is regarded as being lower risk it should still be conducted by specialist trained workers using the correct personal protective equipment and correct removal methods.Asbestos removal

Disposal of asbestos products

Regardless of what category of works your project falls in to, all asbestos products need to be disposed of in a safe manner in a designated asbestos land fill site.

For further advice on safe asbestos disposal please click here.

The seven countries that refuse to acknowledge asbestos is a hazardous substance

In Rotterdam, on 10 September 1998, 165 countries adopted the Rotterdam Convention.  This is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to the importation of hazardous chemicals. While it does not impose any import bans, the convention promotes the open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labelling, include directions on safe handling and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.

It would therefore seem to be a no brainer to include asbestos on the convention list of hazardous substances.

There are six types of asbestos: amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, actinilite, anthophyllite and chrysotile. All six types of asbestos are carcinogenic, but only five of them appear on the list, with chrysotile being the exception.

While chrysotile is considered to be the least potent form of asbestos, it is still recognised as a cause of asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural thickening and pleural plaques.

Asbestos is a Hazardous substance

At the 2011 convention, the Canadian delegation refused to allow the addition of chrysotile to the Rotterdam Convention. This is perhaps unsurprising, given the fact that successive Canadian governments in the 1990s and 2000s continually downplayed the risks of chrysotile. They even part funded the Chrysotile Institute, which spent nearly 30 years promoting the use and sale of asbestos to the developing world.

Thankfully, the Canadian government stopped funding the Chrysotile Institute in May 2012 and it has since closed. This was followed in September 2012 by an announcement that the Canadian government would no longer oppose the inclusion of chrysotile in the convention.

They also ended their support for Canada’s last asbestos mine in Asbestos, Quebec, which we previously wrote about here: /site/news/have-you-been-to-asbestos Thankfully, the mine has now closed.

However, chrysotile remains absent from the Rotterdam Convention. In 2017, 157 countries attended the conference, but the addition of chrysotile to the list was blocked by seven countries:

  • Russia
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Zimbabwe
  • Belarus
  • Syria

Russia continues to mine and expert huge quantities of asbestos, something we previously wrote about here. Given the restrictions on asbestos use in many developed counties, more aggressive marketing of chrysotile has resulted in developing countries.Chrysotile mining hazardous

It is hard to understand how human life can be so recklessly disregarded in the pursuit of profits from the continued mining and sale of chrysotile. By blocking its inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention, it can only be assumed that the delegations from the relevant countries are attempting to prevent the dangers of chrysotile from being more widely publicised.

Boyes Turner believe that an international ban on asbestos cannot come soon enough. However, to block the open exchange of information on the dangers of chrysotile to purchasers really is indefensible.

The professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

There are a number of ways someone can be exposed to asbestos including, when at work, when working in the vicinity of others using asbestos, when laundering clothes covered in asbestos dust, when living in the vicinity of an asbestos producing factory and when working or living in a building containing asbestos to name but a few.

In this article the professions most likely to be exposed to be exposed to asbestos are discussed.

Laggers

Lagging has been mixed and applied for many years to pipes, boilers, structural steelwork and furnaces etc to provide a heat containing covering to the item.

The lagging applied can be made up of a number of different materials to include fibre glass, foam and asbestos.

It is when people are mixing up and applying asbestos lagging that they are at most risk of suffering from an asbestos related disease such as diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, asbestos induced lung cancer or mesothelioma.

The application of asbestos lagging involved laggers pouring large bags of asbestos lagging powder in to a drum of water and then mixing the water and paste together to form a thick insulating paste which was then applied to a surface. The pouring of the lagging powder in to the drum of water caused large plumes of asbestos dust to be emitted in to the working environment which would land all over the lagger. The mixing of the lagging powder and water caused further asbestos dust to be kicked up in to the air.

The application of the asbestos paste to items is also highly dangerous.

Asbestos could also be sprayed in to place in a wet form once mixed which was also highly dangerous due to the amount of asbestos fibres that were sprayed in the air and that came raining down on the worker.

Professions most likely to result in mesothelioma

Lagging is one of the most dangerous asbestos professions and laggers are at a high risk of suffering from mesothelioma.

Plumbers and fitters

Plumbers and fitters often encountered asbestos lagging on site when removing old asbestos lagging so the pipes or boiler underneath could be worked on or when applying asbestos to new installations.

The removal of old asbestos lagging usually involved the worker hacking the old asbestos lagging off using a variety of tools such as hacksaws, hammers, crow bars and even their bare hands. This asbestos removal work released millions of asbestos fibres in to the workplace which would land all over the worker and surrounding work surfaces.

The worker would then clean up after their asbestos removal works using tools such as dustpans, brushes, brooms and shovels.  This caused the asbestos dust to be kicked up in to the air again.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

When applying new asbestos lagging the worker would either mix asbestos lagging as per the above, or use pre-mixed asbestos putty such as “monkey muck” to pack out asbestos glands.

Asbestos string was also cut and used to seal glands and joints.  The use of asbestos string also released dangerous asbestos fibres in to the environment.

Carpenters

Carpenters often came in to contact when working on installations containing asbestos or when installing asbestos products such as asbestos containing insulation board or “asbestolux”.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

Many places contain asbestos board which has been installed as ceiling boards, wall boards and in asbestos containing fire doors. Asbestos was used due to its fire retardant and acoustic properties.

Carpenters would encounter this asbestos when carrying out rip-outs, modifications and repairs to older properties.

Carpenters would also encounter asbestos when installing asbestos boards on site.

The carpenters would cut the asbestos boards using wood saws, pad saws and circular power saws. The asbestos boards then had there edges smoothed off using a plane. Holes were then drilled in to the boards to allow pipes to pass through them and for fixing purposes. All of these tasks released millions of asbestos fibres in to the working environment.

The carpenters would also have to clean up after themselves each day which caused further asbestos dust to be kicked up in to the air.

Boiler workers

Boiler workers would often encounter asbestos lagging on old boilers they were working on, when applying asbestos lagging to new boilers and when using monkey muck and asbestos string to seal glands on boilers.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

 

Boiler workers suffered high exposure to asbestos on a regular basis due to the fact that boilers and their associated pipework carry extremely high temperature water and steam in pipes which needed to be insulated to contain the heat and to protect people from burns.

Electricians

Electricians were also exposed to asbestos when working on sites installing electrical installations where asbestos lagging was present or being applied.

Electricians also often worked in enclosed loft spaces where loose fill asbestos insulation was in the loft for insulating purposes.

Many electricians also installed asbestos insulated cables on immersion heaters and on boilers.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

Electricians would also use pad saws to cut holes in asbestos boards for socket and switch boxes to be mounted on to.

Asbestos is also an insulating material so asbestos board was often cut to shape and secured to walls for fuse boards to be fitted on top of to provide an insulation barrier between the fuse board and the wall.

The above jobs exposed electricians to millions of asbestos fibres on a regular basis.

School teachers

Many schools in Great Britain contain asbestos on lagged pipe work, in ceiling and wall boards, in fire doors and in other places such as cupboards where asbestos boards were used for shelving.

Teachers over time would be exposed to millions of asbestos fibres when slamming doors which caused asbestos fibres to be released from the doors, walls and ceilings, when pinning children’s work to asbestos walls using drawing pins, when leaning against asbestos pipes and when putting things on and taking things off of asbestos shelves.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

There have been hundreds of cases of mesothelioma involving teachers.

Vehicle mechanics

Many mechanical items contained asbestos materials. Examples of asbestos containing materials include brake discs, clutch pads and insulating materials in the engine compartment to name but a few.

professions most likely to result in a case of mesothelioma

Mechanics were exposed to high levels of asbestos dust when blowing out asbestos dust from wheel arches with high pressured air lines when changing the asbestos brakes, when removing old asbestos brake pads, when grinding, drilling and chamfering asbestos brake pads to fit a vehicle and when working on asbestos containing clutches.

As mechanics often worked in contained spaces such as within a wheel arch there asbestos exposure was high.

Artexers and plasterers

Artex and plaster often had asbestos mixed in to it as a bonding agent. Artexers and plasteres would mix asbestos based arte up in the same way that asbestos lagging was mixed exposing them to copious amounts of asbestos dust.

Typically artex and plaster mix contained around 3% asbestos.

Roofers

Many roofers were exposed to asbestos when installing asbestos based roofing tiles or when cutting “Big 6” asbestos corrugated roofing sheets to size and then fitting them.

Asbestos tiles would need to be cut to shape and size using hack saws.

Asbestos corrugated sheeting would need to be cut to shape and size using power saws and then drilled for fixing purposes.

The cutting and drilling of asbestos roofing materials caused copious amounts of asbestos dust to be released in to the air, especially when circular saws were used.

Other professions

Many more professions were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis to include shipbuilders, shiprepairers, emergency service workers, members of the armed forces and construction workers to name but a few.

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