Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which was used for decades in the UK because of its impressive tensile strength and insulating qualities. It was widely used in building and roofing products, water pipes and in the automotive industry. There are various different types of asbestos often referred to by their colour;
- Blue (crocydilte)
- Brown (amosite)
- White (chrysotile)
Thankfully all asbestos types were finally banned in the UK and EU in 1999 however there had been earlier bans relating to blue and brown asbestos.
However white asbestos continues to be mined and exported despite the dangers to health being well documented. Russia continues to be the largest producer of asbestos followed by China, Brazil and Kazakhstan. The largest importers of asbestos are India, China and Indonesia all of which import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the substance every year.
Despite the World Health Organisation calling for a total ban on the production and export of white asbestos (chrysotile), this continues to be blocked predominately by the countries who continue to mine and export it. There is no safe asbestos exposure limit, the risks to health are well documented but asbestos continues to be exported and used in products.
The world as a whole is well aware of the dangers of all types of asbestos and exposure that can lead to diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The UK continues to grapple with it’s asbestos legacy which has cost the lives of many thousands of people. Sadly asbestos exposure will continue to cut short the lives of many more people for decades to come. Deaths caused by asbestos will continue to rise throughout the world unless action is taken to ban the mining and production of all asbestos and asbestos products.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness please contact us today on 0800 294 3065 to see how we can assist you obtain compensation for the wrong doings of former employers.