Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Hepburn’

Startling statistic revealed during UK pleural plaque debate

3 Dec 2009 by under Legal, News, People

There is an ongoing debate in the United Kingdom about whether the country’s Labour department is responsible for compensating workers suffering from pleural plaques. In 2007, the Law Lords ruled that pleural plaques did not qualify for worker’s compensation. Pleural plaques are areas of fibrosis, or scar tissue caused by exposure to asbestos. They are usually found on the inside of the diaphragm.

A champion for the rights of workers who have developed pleural plaques as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace is Jarrow MP . In a meeting at the House of Commons on Nov. 27, he argued the issue of pleural plaques is “immensely important” to workers and pensioners, and insisted it is the duty of members of both sides of the House to overturn the “disgraceful and unjust decision by the Law Lords to bar this terrible illness from classification as a designated illness for compensation purposes,” according to a report in The Chronicle.

Hepburn also told the Commons that pleural plaques sufferers are 1,000 times more likely to develop a more serious form of asbestos-related cancer. is a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs (pleural) or the lining of the stomach (peritoneal). It may also rarely affect the lining of the heart (pericardial). There is no known cure for .

During the heated debate, The Daily Mirror reports that statistics were revealed that show mesothelioma rates in the UK have nearly doubled in 10 years. According to the news source, hospitals treated 7,349 cases of mesothelioma in the past year, compared to 3,773 cases during the timeframe of 1998-99. The Mirror calls mesothelioma an “asbestos timebomb,” citing the disease’s long latency period.

The Mirror quotes Hepburn as saying, “We’re seeing the legacy of workers exposed to asbestos in the 1960s.”