ISSN 1470-8108 Issue 83 Summer 2011

Contents:

1. Parliamentary Asbestos Seminar
2. UK Activism on Asbestos
3. UK's Asbestos Dilemma
4. News Round-up

1. Parliamentary Asbestos Seminar

The UK asbestos story is far from over. A cursory look at epidemiological data reveals a less than comprehensive tracking of asbestos mortality. While data on mesothelioma deaths is available from 1968 to 2008, information for asbestosis fatalities is only accessible for the period 1978-2008. An enquiry to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on July 12, 2011 confirmed that no attempt has been made to quantify the cumulative national mortality from asbestos-related diseases. Attempting to bridge this gap using online statistics1 and best guestimates, we calculated that from 1968 to 2010, the total death toll from mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer may well have exceeded 110,000.2 This figure was deemed “reasonable,” by a leading UK epidemiologist working in this field who pointed out that by 2050 we can expect a further 45,000 mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain.

To ensure that asbestos remains high on the political agenda, an annual seminar is held by the Asbestos Sub-Group of the All Party Parliamentary Occupational Safety and Health Group. This year's event, which was held in the House of Commons on June 7, provided the opportunity for updates to be given on UK asbestos campaigns, informed discussions on future trends to take place and information on international asbestos developments to be shared.3 Annette Brooke, MP and Chair of the Asbestos in Schools Group (AiS),4 kicked the meeting off with a report on the campaign to address the widespread contamination of the nation's schools. “The Government must,” Brooke maintained “work towards the eventual removal of asbestos from our schools. In the shorter term, it must assess the risk to occupants of schools with asbestos, with particular emphasis on children.”5 A steering group set up under Labour to investigate and coordinate all aspects of asbestos risk management and training of school personnel is continuing its efforts under the current government, Brooke told the meeting. Recent news given to steering group members was encouraging: the Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (CoC), an independent body that advises government departments and agencies, has been tasked with carrying out a research project on the “Relative Vulnerability of Children to Asbestos compared to Adults.”6 Highlighting the constructive efforts of civil servants, the unanimity of teaching unions, and the e-training scheme to be launched later this year, MP Brooke concluded her remarks by reiterating the urgent need to ensure that those who work and use school buildings are protected from all exposures to asbestos.

The subject of the next presentation “Employers Liability Insurance Bureau (ELIB)” was addressed by Hugh Robertson from the Trades Union Congress. The fact that many asbestos claimants are unable to trace employers' liability insurance policies for negligent employers results in a massive miscarriage of justice. The voluntary tracing scheme currently being operated by insurers had a success rate of only 41%. A new insurance database due to come on-stream on July 1, 20117 was an attempt to prevent the government from establishing an insurer of last resort (through ELIB), a development fiercely resisted by insurers. If the campaign in support of ELIB fails, it will be the insurers who benefit and the injured that lose out; this would be “a double kick in the teeth for asbestos victims and their families,” Robertson said. Combined with the threats posed by proposals made by Lord Justice Jackson in his Review of Civil Litigation Costs, which could reduce compensation awards by up to 25%, hard won progress achieved on behalf of asbestos victims could be in serious jeopardy.

The next presentation was eagerly anticipated not only by the legal experts present but also by the asbestos victims' representatives in attendance who were aware of the great strides made by Senior Master Steven Whitaker and Master Roger Eastman of the Queen's Bench Division, Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in improving the judicial processing of asbestos claims. During the course of their joint presentation on “Asbestos Litigation: Trends and Developments,” the Masters considered topics of great interest to seminar attendees including:

  • the background and implications of the trigger litigation due to be heard by the Supreme Court in November 2011;
  • the introduction or failure to follow the practice direction developed in 2008 by the Queen's Bench Division for the processing of asbestos cases in jurisdictions around the country;
  • the popularity of the RCJ's asbestos list: the number of claims dealt with more than doubled from 574 in 2007 to 1,164 in 2010; figures for 2011 look likely to show a decline to around 800 cases;8
  • low level exposures to asbestos such as those experienced by children in contaminated schools;
  • landmark cases such as: Willmore-v-Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sienkiewicz-v-Grief (2011) UKSC, Mohammed Najib-v-John Laing PLC and Drake and another-v- Foster Wheeler Ltd.

The keynote speaker at the Westminster seminar was Brazilian lawyer Mauro de Azevedo Menezes. In the presentation “Asbestos Issues in Brazil,” he explained how the profitable exploitation of asbestos in Brazil has endowed a powerful industry lobby with the financial and political muscle to corrupt federal, state and local authorities, commission scientists to undertake dubious research and deprive injured workers of their rights. Brazilian asbestos stakeholders work closely with a “fake NGO, the Brazilian Chrysotile Institute,” to:

“block or frustrate parliamentary initiatives towards the federal banning of asbestos, as well as measures by state authorities that might interfere with the free economic exploitation of asbestos.”

Against almost overwhelming odds, the Brazilian Asbestos Victims' Group (ABREA) has achieved formidable successes in its campaign to achieve justice for the victims and secure state bans on asbestos. ABREA has exposed the misdeeds of the asbestos lobby in forums as diverse as the Supreme Court, regional Labour Courts and the National Self-Regulatory Publicity Council, which oversees Brazil's advertising industry. Expressing his optimism for the future, Menezes said: “While a Brazilian asbestos ban continues to elude us, there are clear signs it will happen.” Just one week after these remarks were made, Mato Grosso became the fifth Brazilian state to ban asbestos. Brazilian state bans, including those in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco, affect 80 million people, 40+ % of the population. A national ban may come sooner rather than later.

That this seminar was held in the shadow of the Jackson proposals and in the wake of savage cuts in the public sector created a climate of uncertainty; a bomb threat that afternoon which prevented some trains from reaching London contributed to the atmosphere of unease. Despite the anxiety generated by these circumstances, the seminar played a vital role in bringing together Parliamentarians, activists, trade unionists, victims rights' campaigners, legal professionals and others who are determined to carry on their efforts to address the country's asbestos injustices. Commenting on the session, attendee Dr. Greg Deleuil, Medical Advisor to the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia, said:

“The annual Westminster asbestos seminar is an absolutely necessary instrument to highlight extraordinary developments in England like the Barker decision and the Jackson cost cutting proposals. What I learned today about the impending financial cuts is extremely worrying. Action must be taken to combat this madness.”

2. UK Activism on Asbestos

A book recently published entitled The Politics of Asbestos9 concluded that:

“The world has changed radically since the heyday of asbestos mining and asbestos production. These changes have been brought about, not because science has shown asbestos to be carcinogenic, but because people have mobilized and challenged governments to implement changes.”

The underlined statement above is well illustrated by the efforts exerted by 20+ asbestos victim support groups to highlight the continuing injustices faced by asbestos sufferers and their families in the UK.10 Since 2006, Action Mesothelioma Day (AMD) has been a red letter day for victims, campaigning groups and asbestos charities which, at events in disease hotspots around the country, pay tribute to the asbestos dead, raise public awareness of the ongoing epidemic and challenge the failure to address the country's residual asbestos problems.

The 6th annual AMD which took place on July 1, 2011 was marked by seminars, conferences, public meetings, a roundtable discussion group, memorial services, afternoon tea, a harbourside walk, balloon and dove releases. The day was not only the culmination of months of organizing but was also the occasion for the publication of research delineating the ongoing public health threat posed by asbestos in light of government cut-backs and recessionary pressures. Dr. Linda Waldman, author of The Politics of Asbestos as well as co-author of “Safe as Houses,” 11 addressed delegates at Manchester Town Hall regarding the asbestos crisis in social housing and schools. Putting this situation into context, campaigners from the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group (GMAVSG), the organizers of this event, pointed out that:

  • tenants in social housing, who are responsible for many of their own repairs, lack information on the presence of asbestos; vital safeguards to prevent hazardous exposures are lacking;12
  • the information vacuum on the asbestos risk in schools continues to endanger the health of all those who work and study in contaminated buildings;
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE) funding has been slashed by 35%;
  • the award-winning HSE “Asbestos Hidden Killer Campaign” has been terminated;
  • successive governments have failed to undertake asbestos audits of schools; proactive health and safety inspections in state schools have been cancelled.

Supplementing Dr. Waldman's presentation were comments made by John Shiers, a social housing asbestos campaigner, who has contracted mesothelioma from living in a contaminated council flat.13 John told the meeting:

“I was only ever exposed to asbestos living in the Hulme flats in Manchester which were riddled with asbestos. We had to campaign to get information about asbestos and for the dangers of asbestos to be taken seriously. Thirty years later, tenants are still not told where asbestos is in their homes despite the dangers of disturbing asbestos. This must change.”14

Summing up the views of many of those attending the day's event, Tony Whitston, from the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, said:

“Low level exposures to asbestos can cause mesothelioma. Government policy is putting maintenance workers, tenants and school staff and children at risk. It is unforgivable for Government to repeat the policy mistakes of the past which have caused so many deaths. The Hidden Killer campaign should be reinstated and action taken urgently to protect tenants, school staff and children.”

At the very heart of all the AMD activities is the voice of the victims; their generosity in telling their stories gives an immediacy and personal insight into the human tragedies caused by asbestos. A DVD produced by the Forum of Asbestos Support Groups (UK) entitled Mesothelioma – The Human Face of an Asbestos Epidemic, which is an invaluable resource for campaigners and educators, was uploaded to the HSE website in time for AMD 2011.15 According to Jason Addy, the film's producer, most of the cancer sufferers interviewed for the film have since died. Responding to the news of the HSE's endorsement of the project, Mr. Addy said:

“It is to be welcomed that the national agency that is responsible for health and safety has chosen to use our film to highlight the potential hazards of low level exposures to asbestos dust. Many of those who are now dying from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma did not work in asbestos factories or places that used vast quantities of the mineral. Those who are now dying often came into contact with asbestos in fleeting ways as electricians engineers, plumbers and maintenance workers. Even schoolteachers are dying of mesothelioma so the effects of relatively low level exposure to asbestos must be addressed to ensure that future generations are not put at risk.”16

Members of the Asbestos in Schools (AiS) Campaign played an important part in AMD 2011 activities with AiS spokeswoman and chair of the Joint Union Asbestos Committee Julie Winn calling for a measured and transparent national strategy. “If we are ever to solve this problem that still contaminates our school infrastructure,” she said “a policy of complete openness is essential and must be introduced now and without delay.”17 The escalation of mesothelioma mortality amongst teachers is of serious concern. In the last decade, 138 teachers have died of mesothelioma, 60% of the total incidence of mesothelioma teacher mortality since 1980.18 There is no doubt that the asbestos contamination which caused the teachers' illnesses could affect the health of the children in their classes. The news that the Building Schools for the Future program has been axed means that asbestos due to be removed during refurbishment work will remain in the 75% of school buildings which are contaminated.19

A discussion of AMD 2011 events is a fitting time to reflect on the work of the only UK charities which specialise in raising money for mesothelioma research: the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund (JHMRF) and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund. In light of the failure of Labour, Conservative and coalition governments to allocate public funds for asbestos-related disease research, the fact that each of these charities has raised in excess of 1 million is little short of astonishing. Thanking donors and supporters, Kimberley Stubbs, June Hancock's daughter and founding trustee of the JHMRF, said: “In our wildest dreams, we never imagined we'd be here more than a decade later, announcing over a million pounds raised... Much of this money has come from small donations of ten and twenty pounds, often when family, friends, colleagues have been lost to this dreadful disease.”20

By a strange synchronicity, news was released on AMD which supported the warnings issued by campaigners of the potent risk of asbestos in schools and social housing. A High Court ruling ordered the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to compensate families whose loved ones died as a consequence of childhood asbestos exposures on military bases. The 1 million verdict was for three asbestos fatalities, one of whom was Richard Rouse, a retired colonel who died aged 53 from mesothelioma in 2008. Richard had been exposed to asbestos as a child living in RAF married quarters in the 1950s.21 Although the MoD denied liability, evidence was presented which showed the extensive contamination to which he had been exposed. There can be no doubt that the MoD's failure to protect the children of Armed Service personnel and the Government's refusal to decontaminate schools will have tragic consequences in the years to come.

3. UK's Asbestos Dilemma

Having received a reprimand from Brussels that UK legislation did not comply with European Asbestos Directive 2009/148/EC, discussions are proceeding about suitable options.22 Minutes of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances that took place on May 24, 2011 confirm plans by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to hold a public consultation commencing in late summer 2011 on upgrading the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. As was to be expected, this situation was the subject of conversation at a May 25 meeting of the British Occupational Hygiene Society. According to one delegate who attended the London meeting, there was speculation about the new regime with a consensus emerging that while extra red tape for working with asbestos-cement products and artex might be required, the HSE would stop short of requiring licensed specialists to undertake this work. It seems that these days, expectations of the HSE are low. Failure to yet again provide a sufficient standard of occupational health safeguards in the UK could, however, prove costly – proceedings at the European Court of Justice do not come cheap.

Contemporaneously, an announcement was made by Sir John Beddington, the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser,23 which endorsed the policy adopted when The Asbestos (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 unilaterally ended the use of all types of asbestos in the UK.24 On May 26, 2011, Beddington wrote:

“it is not possible to determine a threshold level below which exposure to 'pure' chrysotile could be deemed 'safe' for human health. The same applies for exposure to chrysotile from cement ... on the evidence available there is no justification for an imminent change to the international scientific consensus on the classification of chrysotile as a Class 1 carcinogen.”25

On June 21, 2011 a Parliamentary exchange between MP Simon Danczuk and Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment, shed light on the genesis of Beddington's enquiry regarding chrysotile (white) asbestos:

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on (a) legislation relating to (i) the regulation of and (ii) the classification of white asbestos since his appointment.

Chris Grayling: Since May 2010, the Department for Work and Pensions has received representations from Asbestos Watchdog regarding the legislation relating to, and the classification of, white asbestos.

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) on what grounds he commissioned a report into the evidence on the present classification of asbestos; (2) how much his Department spent on Sir John Beddington's review of the classification of asbestos.

Chris Grayling: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions asked Sir John Beddington, as the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, for his view on whether there was any evidence that would justify a change to the international classification of asbestos following representations from Asbestos Watchdog and a number of parliamentary questions, in autumn 2010, regarding white asbestos and asbestos cement products.

No spending was undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to Sir John Beddington's work.”26

Asbestos Watchdog27 is an initiative most closely associated with John Bridle, an individual with links to the asbestos industry. Prior to the UK ban on asbestos, Bridle was a director of companies which produced and/or sold asbestos-cement material. Writing about his 38 years in the asbestos industry, he remarked:

"The industry has given me an extremely interesting life… I have seen the world. I have met a lot of interesting people and I have an enormous fondness for an industry which I think the so called experts are going to destroy if they're not careful."28

Bridle's “fondness” for the industry might be evinced from email addresses he has used which include: "jbridle@whiteasbestos.fsnet.co.uk"29 and "whiteasbestos@btconnect.com"30 As the “senior asbestos expert” of J & S Bridle Associates Ltd., the commercial arm of Asbestos Watchdog,31 John Bridle made a submission to the HSE during the consultation on “Proposals for revised Asbestos Regulations and an Approved Code of Practice;” a copy of this submission has been obtained through an Environmental Information Regulations Request.32 Bridle's response to the consultation explained Asbestos Watchdog's call for the deregulation of work on some asbestos-containing materials due to, he claimed, the very small risk involved. Statements regarded as contentious by some readers of the Bridle text include: the supposed chemical metamorphosis of chrysotile when incorporated into asbestos-cement products, criticism of UK asbestos mortality data, allegations about the professional interests of Julian Peto,33 a recommendation to de-license work with AIB (Asbestos Insulating Board) soffits, negative comments about the value of UKAS accreditation and the British Occupational Hygiene Society's administration of P402 (Building Surveys & Bulk Sampling) courses.

Considering the support for the prohibition of asbestos by all international agencies, including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organisation, the International Social Security Association and the International Commission on Occupational Health, medical associations, 100+ asbestos victim support groups, global unions, independent scientists and the governments of 55 countries, the fact that the UK's Chief Scientist had been asked to investigate: “whether there is any evidence that would justify an imminent change to the 'international scientific consensus on the classification of asbestos' and so allow Ministers to re-consider UK legislation” appears a curious use of government resources. Surely, it is time to focus public attention and political efforts on how best to protect the population from the asbestos hazard; a failure to do so will prolong the tragic human legacy caused by a century of asbestos consumption.

4. News Round-up

Developments

UK Pleural Plaques Former Claimants Payment Scheme

August 1, 2011, is the deadline for the submission of applications to the Ministry of Justice Pleural Plaques: Extra-statutory Scheme.34 Claims will be processed after this date until the scheme is terminated on March 31, 2012.35

Conviction for Marks and Spencer plc

On July 18, 2011, Marks and Spencer plc (M&S) and contractors Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd and PA Realisations Ltd (formerly Pectel Ltd) were convicted at Winchester Crown Court of endangering the public, staff members and construction workers during refurbishment work at M&S stores in Reading and Bournemouth.36 The defendants were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for infringement of legislation and approved codes of practice designed to prevent hazardous exposures to asbestos. Sentencing will take place on September 26, 2011.

Northern Ireland Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill

On June 13-15, 2011, the UK Supreme Court heard a case referred by the Northern Ireland (NI) Attorney General John Larkin regarding the Northern Ireland Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill. The Bill seeks to reinstate the right of NI pleural plaque sufferers to obtain compensation following a Scottish precedent37 which reasserted the actionability of pleural plaque claims after the 2007 House of Lords decision in Johnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd. According to NI Finance Minister Sammy Wilson, the legislation “seeks to support a fundamental principle of our justice system, namely access to justice for those who have suffered wrong.”38 The Supreme Court verdict is expected this Autumn.

Honour for Glasgow Activist

The work of Phyllis Craig, a senior welfare rights adviser at Clydeside Action on Asbestos, was recognized on June 11, 2011 when she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honour's list for her services to sufferers of asbestos-related diseases. Phyllis has assisted individual victims and campaigned for changes to Scottish and UK legislation which impacted on their rights for over 15 years. Commenting on the honour, she paid tribute to the asbestos-injured and their relatives who, she said “should be recognized.”39

Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO)

An insurance industry scheme to trace details of Employers Liability insurance policies went live on May 5, 2011, nearly two months before a deadline set by the Financial Services Authority.40 An online enquiry facility and electronic database, with details of post-April 2011 policies as well as some earlier policies, is being operated by the ELTO, an independent, not-for-profit company funded by a levy. The ELTO41 replaces the voluntary Employers' Liability Code of Practice Tracing Service which was set up in 1999. UCATT spokesman George Guy called the ELTO “a fudge:” “In truth, very few asbestos victims will be able to gain justice by using the Tracing Service. In the majority of these cases, companies no longer exist, or the workers were never insured. That is why the creation of the Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau is so critical.”

Asbestos & the Law Conference

The Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support group (MAVSG) is holding a Law Society CPD/APIL-accredited conference on September 27, 2011 at the Liverpool Maritime Museum. The 2011 keynote speaker Mr. Justice Langstaff will be joined by other asbestos experts including: Coroner Andre Rebello, Solicitor Andrew Morgan, Barrister Simon Kilvington and physicians Drs. M. Sharma and J. Moore-Gillan. Proceeds from the event will be going to the MAVSG.42

Mesothelioma Patient & Carer Day

The 6th annual Patient & Carer Day is being held by Mesothelioma UK in London on October 1, 2011. On the agenda are presentations by medical professionals and asbestos victims' campaigners including, in the former category, Drs. Jeremy Steele, Dean Fennell, Helen Clayson and Nurse Consultants Liz Darlison, Mary Hesdorffer, Natalie Doyle and in the later category, Tony Whitston and Michael Lees. The personal stories of patients and their families will be discussed by Clive Leaney and Suzanne Philbin-Jeng. For more information email: mesothelioma.uk@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Literature and The Arts

The Politics of Asbestos by Dr. Linda Waldman is a thoughtful study of the experiences of asbestos sufferers in the UK, India and South Africa. The author explores the impact of science on issues of social justice through interviews with at-risk workers, residents in asbestos-contaminated communities and ban asbestos campaigners. Despite her background in social anthropology, Dr. Waldman's book is written in a style accessible to ordinary mortals.43

The paper Applying Quality Criteria to Exposure in Asbestos Epidemiology Increases the Estimated Risk 44 published in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene details research undertaken at the behest of the Dutch Parliament into the environmental risk posed by asbestos with a view to tightening exposure guidelines to protect public health. The findings of the (Dutch) Health Council Committee are discussed in this paper and include the conclusions that when only cohort studies with good quality exposure information were considered in epidemiological studies, risk estimates for lung cancer and mesothelioma increased 3-6 fold and fiber potency differences for the causation of these diseases were reduced.

The Translator's Dilemma, a production based on the ongoing trial of asbestos executives in Italy, will be shown at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during August 2011. Performances will be on August 6-15 and 19-27 at 1pm at Venue #203: Princes Mall (the shopping centre just next to Waverley train station). 45

The photographic exhibition “Forget me knot,” was premiered on June 15, 2011 at a Manchester gallery. This stunning piece of work is by Barbara Balmer, bereaved daughter, art student and Trustee of the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victim Support Group (GMAVSG). Barbara's Father, who died from mesothelioma, had been employed by Turner Brothers Asbestos on the shop floor. As a feminist image maker, Barbara worked with other GMAVSG members to visualize the decimation asbestos has wreaked on families. Commenting on this project, she wrote:

“Anyone who has lost someone to asbestos related disease will understand when I say, nothing is ever 'normal' again. The anger, the bitterness and the fear remains and is always lurking below the surface.”46

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1 Data and guidelines used to do these calculations were found at:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/meso01.xls
http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/asis01.xls
http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/index.htm#lung
http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/asbfaq.htm#fatalcount

2 This total is likely to be a gross underestimate as the calculations were made using data retrieved from death certificate notifications. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of mesothelioma deaths go unacknowledged as do the vast majority of asbestos-related lung cancer deaths.

3 Asbestos Seminar Agenda: http://ibasecretariat.org/asb_sub_group_agenda_jun_8_2011.pdf

4 http://www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk/npaper%20links/Minister%20meeting.htm

5 Piggott M. Cancer in the Classroom. The Times. July 8, 2011.

6 Although work on this initiative under the leadership of Professor David Phillips is due to commence in November 2011, this subject is on the CoC agenda for the July 21, 2011 meeting.
http://www.iacoc.org.uk/meetings/documents/Agenda21stJulyfinal_000.pdf
http://www.iacoc.org.uk/papers/documents/CC201110Asbestosinschoolsintro.pdf

7 The new database, which is called the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO), became operational one month early: see News Round-up.

8 Information received subsequently showed a total of 381 cases processed in the 6 month period January- June 2010.

9 Waldman L. The Politics of Asbestos. Earthscan Ltd., 2011. ISBN: 978-1-84971-108-1.

10 Kazan-Allen L. Changing Britain's Asbestos Landscape. April 28, 2011.
http://ibasecretariat.org/lka_changing_britains_asb_landscape_apr2011.pdf

11 Waldman L. and Williams H. As Safe as Houses. UCATT Report. June 2009.
The report, which estimates that asbestos is present in 90% of all public sector housing, concludes:
“the exposure to risk remains high due to the failure to inform all those at risk in houses and work.”

12 This information derives from original research undertaken by the GMAVSG which included the compilation and circulation of an asbestos questionnaire to 16 social housing providers.

13 An interview given by John Shiers was featured in ITV Granada Reports:
http://www.itv.com/granada/mans-asbestos-warning58771/

14 Press Release. Asbestos Victims Support Groups' Forum UK. June 30, 2011.

15 http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/videos/mesothelioma-video.htm

16 Asbestos cancer film goes 'viral' for Action Mesothelioma Day. July 1, 2011. Rochdale Online.

17 Ahmed L, Henshaw P. We need to know: call for new asbestos law. July 7, 2011.
http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/article/article.html?section=News&type_uid=1&uid=85163

18 According to Winn: “In the past thirty years almost 230 teachers have died of mesothelioma but more than 60 percent of those deaths have occurred in just the last decade.”

19 NASUWT Press Release. Asbestos fears over BSF cuts. June 29, 2011.
http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/Whatsnew/NASUWTNews/Nationalnewsitems/
HealthandSafetySeminar/NASUWT_008018

Asbestos in Schools Update 119. School asbestos group calls for US-style approach. June 30, 2011.

20 The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund Newsletter. Issue 8, June 2011. The JHMRF, which was the UK's first mesothelioma research fund, remains the only independent registered charity working in this area.

21 Ellis M. 1million victory for families of MoD asbestos victims. July 1, 2011.http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/07/01/1million-victory-for-families-of-mod-asbestos-victims-115875-23239050/

22 For background to this case, see: Kazan-Allen L. UK in Contravention of European Asbestos Law. British Asbestos Newsletter. Issue 82. 2011. http://www.britishasbestosnewsletter.org/ban82.htm#n3

23 http://www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/science-in-government/global-issues/health-and-environment/asbestos

24Kazan-Allen L. United Kingdom Bans Chrysotile. British Asbestos Newsletter. Issue 36, Autumn 1999.
http://www.britishasbestosnewsletter.org/ban36.htm

25Letter from Sir John Beddington to MP Iain Duncan Smith. May 11, 2011.
http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/goscience/docs/c/11-943-classification-of-chrysotile-asbestos-letter.pdf

26 Hansards, House of Commons Written Answers, June 21, 2011.
http://services.parliament.uk/hansard/Commons/bydate/20110621/writtenanswers/part013.html

27http://www.asbestoswatchdog.co.uk/

28 Kazan-Allen L. Connecting the Dots. British Asbestos Newsletter, Issue 48, Autumn, 2002.
http://www.britishasbestosnewsletter.org/ban48.htm

29 This email address was quoted in a column by Christopher Booker in 2002.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1404693/Christopher-Bookers-Notebook.html

30Booker C. Farmers face 6bn bill for asbestos clean-up. May 25, 2008.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/3558729/Farmers-face-6bn-bill-for-asbestos-clean-up.html

31 BOHS and the fraudster of 'impeccable character'.” Asbestos Watchdog. March 23, 2011.
http://www.asbestoswatchdog.co.uk/news/most-recent/23-03-2011/BOHS-and-the-fraudster-of-impeccable-character

32 This file was obtained on March 3, 2011.

33 In a telephone conversation, Professor Peto completely refuted allegations made about him in the Bridle text.

34 Fisher D. Pleural Plaques: Extra-Statutory Scheme. British Asbestos Newsletter, Issue 82, Spring 2011.
http://www.britishasbestosnewsletter.org/ban82.htm#n2

35 http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/compensation-schemes/pleural-plaques/

36 http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2011/coi-se-1507.htm

37 In 2009, the Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act restored the right of plaque sufferers to bring claims. An appeal for a judicial review launched by insurers Axa, Aviva, RSA and Zurich was rejected by the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh in April 2011; a year earlier, the Outer Court of Session had similarly rejected the insurers' appeal.

38 The Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill – An Update. June 3, 2011
http://www.fhanna.co.uk/damagesbill.html

39 http://www.clydesideactiononasbestos.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26&Itemid=42

40 Employers' liability tracing office now live. May 5, 2011.
http://www.shponline.co.uk/news-content/full/employers-liability-tracing-office-now-live

41 http://www.elto.org.uk/

42 For more information, contact MAVSG by phoning 0151 236 1895 or sending an email to: grf15@dial.pipex.com

43 http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?TabId=102566

44 Burdorf A., Heederik D. Applying Quality Criteria to Exposure in Asbestos Epidemiology Increases the Estimated Risk. Ann Occup Hyg (2011) 55 (6): 565-568.
http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/6/565.full

45 For more information see: http://www.scandaltheatre.com/

46 For more information email: bebedesignsltd@yahoo.co.uk or phone: 01606 782429

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Compiled by Laurie Kazan-Allen
©Jerome Consultants