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Risk of Asbestos in employment increases cancer deaths to 8,000

Written by Jenny Fraser,

A recent study funded by the Health and Safety Executive and published in the British Journal of Cancer, demonstrates that about 8,000 cancer deaths in Britain are related to occupations where people are exposed to asbestos, diesel engine fumes and/or shift work. The most likely people to be affected were male construction workers.

Furthermore, the International Agency for Research on Cancer have found that about 13,600 new cancer cases are caused by risk factors related to work each year.

Asbestos Remains a High Risk to Employers

Asbestos remains the highest work related risk factor however, the risk of night shift work is not far behind due to it being attributable to about:
1,960 female cases of breast cancer,
1730 cases of bladder, lung and non-melanoma skin cancers,
1540 skin cancer cases, silica exposure
910 cancer cases and diesel engine exhaust

According to researchers, these figures are under estimated and deaths linked to occupation are likely to increase as new work related risks are being identified.

Nevertheless, these figures are still higher compared to the 2004 figures of cancer cases.
Dr Lesley Rushton, an occupational epidemiologist expressed that this study has allowed a clearer understanding into how employment affects the risk of cancer and therefore, we can hopefully find ways of reducing these risks in workplaces.

This is most important in relation to lung cancer cases as they have a higher number of deaths. The IARC has identified over 30 occupational exposures as definite lung cancer causing substances which can be prevented before it can spread.

Asbestos is still the most important occupational risk even though it is no longer used due to maintenance of old buildings. Cases of asbestos will still increaser because the disease takes time to develop.

However asbestos can also be found in household products and in the air pollution due to diesel engine exhausts.

Smoking has the biggest impact on lung cancer risks but work place risks are not far behind.

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK:

“A large proportion of deaths from occupation-related cancers are due to the past exposure of asbestos . Therefore the increase in safety measures should see an immense decrease in the number of asbestos cases.

“The Health and Safety Executive have authorised a review of shift work and cancers which is to be completed in 2015. Whilst the review is on-going, it is very important that the government and employers take all necessary steps to reduce the risks of cancer. To ensure this, Cancer Research UK will be observing every move.

“People can reduce the risk of cancer by not smoking because round about 43,000 cancer deaths are due to smoking . Everyone can reduce the risk of cancer by healthy eating, drinking less alcohol and doing plenty of exercise.”

How can we help you make an asbestos compensation claim

Speak to Danielle today about making a claim for asbestos compensation

Worried About Asbestos? Speak to Personal Injury Solicitors

If you believe you or a loved one has developed asbestos related diseases after years of exposure through your employment or other reasons, we would advise that you seek a medical opinion on your condition.

Asbestosis, mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can sometimes take decades to develop symptoms and can have damaging effects on not only the person who was in contact with asbestos fibres, but also their families. To answer any questions you may have regarding an asbestos related claim for compensation contact Duncan Gibbins Solicitors on .

 

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