As part of its No Time to Lose campaign tackling work-related cancers, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has been highlighting the risk of exposure to deadly asbestos fibres to young tradespeople. 

Asbestos remains the world’s worst occupational cancer killer, despite being banned in 62 countries. People at greatest risk of exposure include construction workers, electricians and plumbers. Young workers just starting their trades are particularly vulnerable.

Recent research by IOSH revealed startlingly low levels of awareness of the risks associated with asbestos exposure among some of these workers.

Asbestos-containing materials only pose a threat if they are disturbed or begin to decay – but workers making alterations to buildings or fixing pipes in floors, walls and ceilings are more likely than most to disturb asbestos fibres if they are present.

Inhaling the near-invisible, microscopic, glasslike asbestos fibres can cause damage deep inside lungs and other soft tissues leading to deadly cancers like mesothelioma decades later.

Every year in Britain, 5,000 people die from asbestos-related cancer – the highest rate in the world and so far showing no signs of decline. Britain finally outlawed asbestos use in 1999, before some of the trainee tradespeople were born, but it still lurks in around half-a-million buildings.

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If you have been made unwell through exposure to toxic substances at work, including asbestos, and would like to find out more about your right to compensation, then contact us today to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers. Our team of personal injury solicitors are specialists in such serious matters and will be able to give you the best advice and representation to match your needs and circumstance during what is likely to be very a difficult time.