21 May 2015
1 in 3 Workers Exposed to Asbestos in Europe
A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that one in three people working in Europe are potentially exposed to asbestos during their working day.
This shocking revelation implies that a third of the 900 million people employed in Europe face the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, including Mesothelioma and Asbestosis. Unknown to many, the use of asbestos is yet to be banned from several countries in Europe: a fact with devastating consequences for many people unaware of the effects of exposure to asbestos. Many people continue to work in environments where they are exposed to asbestos on a daily basis and, uneducated as to the effects, work daily in these conditions without protective clothing and/or equipment.
In a conference hosted by WHO, all European countries were called upon to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. Russia and Kazakhstan continue to manufacture asbestos-containing products. The WHO report, ‘Progress toward the elimination of asbestos-related diseases,’ suggests that the sale of asbestos products is responsible for half of all work-related cancer. The study also revealed that deaths from Mesothelioma in 15 countries costs over 1.5 billion euros a year.
WHO’s Regional Director, Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, said, “We cannot afford losing almost 15,000 lives a year in Europe, especially workers, from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Every death from asbestos-related diseases is avoidable.”
The symptoms of Mesothelioma generally manifest a considerable amount of time following exposure to asbestos. The effects of being exposed to asbestos are not typical of other poisons wherein the body reacts immediately, with the symptoms instantly obvious. If asbestos dust is inhaled, the victim may not have even suffered a cough or cold, and will likely not recall the time of their exposure to asbestos, considering the event insignificant beyond remembering.
Many people who have contracted Mesothelioma are not aware until 30-40 years later when it is possible for a doctor to diagnose the condition.
Dominic Smith, National Operations Coordinator for the Chest and Asbestos Disease Group at Slater and Gordon, has represented many workers who unfortunately have been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with Mesothelioma, through no fault of their own. Dominic stated, “These statistics highlights the need for all European countries to take a stand and discontinue the use of asbestos products.”
If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos at work call the expert Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 844 0275 or contact us online.
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