Scotland faces asbestos ‘ticking time bomb’

27 Apr 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News

1024px Flag of Scotland.svg  100x100 Scotland faces asbestos ticking time bomb Scotland currently has the highest global incidence rate of asbestos-related conditions, according to BBC News. An estimated 175 cases were diagnosed in 2014 in the country.

Scottish attorney Laura Blane of Thompsons Solicitors told the news source her firm is handling about 200 cases involving asbestos exposure. “”It is no exaggeration to say that this is an enormous ticking time bomb and I am seeing increasing numbers of cases,” she said. “We all know that our local councillors have busy in-trays but I would say to them that this is now something that touches every community in the country. It’s a problem that must be tackled with the upmost urgency.”

is a known human carcinogen that was once heavily used in construction and manufacturing. Now that its negative health risks are known—only one exposure could lead to an -related disease—many countries have banned or are in the process of banning its manufacture, use, import and export, including the European Union. However, even in those countries, may still be present in aging buildings or old products and still present a health risk. If fibers are disturbed and become airborne, they become a human health hazard. For example, mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that occurs when particles are either inhaled or ingested.

activists in the country are pushing the issue as one that affects everyone—regardless of political party. Annette Smith of Clydeside Action on , Scotland’s largest charity, told BBC News: “The is one of the biggest health challenges facing our country in the coming years…I would say to all political parties please look at this issue as a matter of priority, meet with us and the families and let’s make sure that all public buildings whether its schools, hospitals or local authority buildings are safe for everyone.”


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