Asbestos used to be extremely popular within the UK. During the 20th century, people such as shipbuilders and construction workers may have utilised this substance in order to make items resistant to heat or to provide insulation.
Often regarded by employers as a "miracle mineral", its properties were frequently used, as well as praised. In fact, it has been estimated that more than six million tonnes of asbestos was imported into the country. Furthermore, this figure seems to have peaked during 1973, when at least 195,000 tonnes of asbestos entered the UK.
Asbestos quickly became a common sight during many occupations. However, by using this material, many workers could have been placing themselves in danger – and they most likely did not know about the risks.
Although this material is relatively harmless in its solid form, it may release fibres into the air when damaged or disturbed. When this dust is inhaled, sufferers can eventually develop a number of conditions, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer.
The effects of asbestos-related diseases can often prove fatal and may develop up to 60 years after a person's initial exposure. Therefore, those who worked with this material between the 1960s and 1980s could still be diagnosed with these conditions.
Fortunately, future generations should be prevented from suffering these illnesses as various pieces of legalisation exist which legally prohibit people from importing, using, and supplying asbestos in the UK.
The dangers of asbestos have also been recognised by a number of different countries who have chosen to implement similar laws, such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.
However, it is a sad fact that some nations are still producing substantial amounts of this material. For example, according to the BBC, Canada exported almost 153,000 tonnes of chrysotile asbestos to countries such as India, Mexico and Thailand in 2009.
Yet, the BBC reports that Russia is the world's largest miner of asbestos. Every year, this nation produces more than one million tonnes of the material and supplies it to a number of different countries.
Although a global ban on asbestos would undoubtedly help to preserve the lives of many individuals, it seems Russia is not in favour of such a measure. For example, an article on the BBC website states that "Russian scientists say the EU ban is unnecessary, and a worldwide ban would be a direct attack on Russian industry and jobs".
Claiming compensation through Seth Lovis & Co
Decades of asbestos use have had a terrible effect on this country, and this legacy is unfortunately continuing across several parts of the globe. However, if you were exposed to this material in the UK, and adversely affected, our team of specialist solicitors will strive to help you claim asbestos compensation.
To find out more information about making asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma claims, please call Seth Lovis & Co today on 0370 218 4025. Alternatively, you can contact us through an online enquiry form.