19 March 2012
The coalition Government has announced that it intends to repeal dozens of pieces of legislation
which play a vital role in protection UK citizens from the deadly exposure to asbestos dust. Only last month the All- Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health published a report highlighting the dangers of the presence of asbestos in the country’s schools. More than 75% of Britain’s state schools contain asbestos, exposure to which can cause both lung cancer and the fatal disease mesothelioma. Every year some 4, 000 people die as a result of being exposed to asbestos.
However, George Osborne, citing the "ridiculous costs" of "endless social and environmental goals", is driving through a number of cuts to legislation which threatens to reduce the level of protection that exists against asbestos exposure. This includes scrapping the Control of Asbestos in the Air Regulations 1990 which the Government claims are ‘totally redundant’.
, a leading asbestos and mesothelioma
claims lawyer, whose own father died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace, said:
“I am extremely concerned to learn about these proposed cuts to protective legislation. Exposure to just one fibre of asbestos can lead to a person developing mesothelioma, a fatal lung cancer and it is astonishing that the Government can even be considering such a move. The future medical costs to the state of caring for people who have been exposed to asbestos will be increased if the existing protection is not kept in place. There will be no saving.”
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