It was recently reported in the Guardian that the Ministry of Defence has admitted to widespread failings in dealing with materials containing asbestos. This may have deadly implications for members of the armed forces as the MOD estimates thousands of civilian and military personnel may have been exposed to asbestos.
Following a Government review, it was found that materials containing asbestos were widely used on Sea King helicopters for a period of 40 years but the failings over identification of asbestos containing materials extends beyond just these helicopters. Obviously MOD employees would have been exposed to asbestos during the course of servicing and repairing the helicopters and during the review, asbestos has been identified at a number of MOD sites which has led to clean up operations at RAF Brize Norton, MOD Lyneham and an MOD storage site in Ashchurch, Gloucestershire
The dangers of exposure to asbestos have been well known for decades and from 1965 it was accepted hat relatively low levels of asbestos exposure could result in workers contracting mesothelioma. This is an incurable cancer caused through the inhalation of asbestos fibres. It is almost inconceivable that a Government body such as the MOD was found to have inadequate systems in place to track the use of asbestos and ensure that its employees were properly trained about the dangers of exposure to asbestos and provided with personal protective equipment.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness, or you are concerned you may have been exposed to asbestos whilst working for the MOD please contact us on 0800 294 3065.