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National Cancer Survivors Day 7th June 2015

Sunday 7th June 2015

Today the 7th of June people all around the world take time to support and appreciate all the people out there that are Cancer Survivors.

I want to take this opportunity to not only appreciate the bravery of all Cancer survivors out there, but express the dangers of Asbestos and how important it is that we fight together to raise awareness.

Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos Fibres

The World Health Organisation has recently estimated that there are more than 125 million people around the world who are currently exposed to asbestos as a result of their work, and at least 107,000 people die each year globally from asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos is an extremely dangerous life threatening material and if handled incorrectly and inhaled, can take your breath away, forever.

The HSE suggests that the mineral is responsible for more than two-thirds of cancer deaths within the industry.

Any building built or refurbished before the year 2000 may have asbestos.

Asbestos crocidolite (blue asbestos)

Crocidolite and products containing this fibre have been used in thousands of products for an immense number of applications, such as ceiling tiles, fire protection, insulation materials, chemical insulation, spray on insulation, acid storage battery casings, water supply lines, cement, electrical or telecommunication wires, acid storage battery casings, thermal insulation, millboards (commercial ovens and steam pipes) as well as clutches and brake linings, gaskets and pads for automobiles.

Ceiling tiles

Fire Protection

Insulation boards

Spray-on insulation

Water supply lines

Cement sheets containing asbestos

Electrical or telecommunication wires

Thermal insulation

Millboards (commercial ovens and steam pipes)

Crocidolite and products containing this fibre have been banned in many countries; however,

Chrysotile (white asbestos)

Chrysotile is still widely used in some countries, with approximately 90% being employed in asbestos cement building materials, the largest users of which are developing countries.

Chrysotile was used in gaskets, cement, insulation, brake pads, brake linings, roofing materials, and joint compounds.

Asbestos cement roof

Other remaining uses of chrysotile are in friction materials (7%), textiles and other applications.

Asbestos textile roof

All use of asbestos is banned in the UK, but the number of mesothelioma deaths are yet to reach its peak, with experts predicting by 2050, 90,000 people will have died as a result of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelial cells. These cells make up the lining that covers the outer surface of most of the body’s organs.

The two main types of mesothelioma are: –

Pleural Mesothelioma

This cancer develops in the tissue covering the lungs.

Symptoms: –

  • Pain in the chest or lower back
  • Shortness of breath
  • High temperature and sweating at night
  • Persistent cough
  • Unexplained weight loss

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

This cancer develops in the lining of the abdomen.

Symptoms: –

  • Pain or swelling in the tummy
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea/constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss

The heart breaking fact is that most people die within 3 years of diagnosis as it is usually diagnosed at a late stage.

Nearly all treatment is aimed at controlling the disease for as long as possible and keeping symptoms under control.

If the disease is found early you may have chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and time, time to spend with your family and decide what steps to take.

We desperately need to get #AsbestosAwareness out there so people take charge of their life and realise what working with or disturbing asbestos when not trained to do so can do to themselves, their families and people around them.

Throughout today on UKATA’S Twitter page I shall be posting articles of mesothelioma survivors, join me to show support and raise awareness.

To find out more about asbestos visit the ‘asbestos’ page on our website www.ukata.org.uk