Mark Hunter MP takes Action against Mesothelioma

March 6, 2007 3:06 PM
Mark Hunter MP supports the Action Mesothelioma campaign by signing the House of Commons motion

Mark Hunter MP supports the Action Mesothelioma campaign by signing the House of Commons motion

Cheadle MP, Mark Hunter, joined the British Lung Foundation and other campaigners at the House of Commons on Tuesday to raise awareness for this disease in a new initiative, Action Mesothelioma.

The new initiative comes a year after the launch of the British Lung Foundation's Mesothelioma Charter, which calls for mesothelioma to be made a national priority by the Cancer Tsar. Mr Hunter signed an Early Day Motion at the event calling for increased awareness for the disease.

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer of the lining of the lung caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Around 2,000 people died of mesothelioma in the UK in 2005. The UK is facing an epidemic of the cancer in 2011 - 2015 as people exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s are diagnosed with the disease (it takes 40 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to become apparent following exposure to asbestos). Recent cases show that builders, plumbers, gas fitters and electricians are now the largest high-risk groups. They are likely to come across asbestos in the buildings where they work. There is as yet no cure for mesothelioma and the British Lung Foundation is calling for more research into the disease.

The British Lung foundation conducted a survey published recently (February 27) that showed that nearly two thirds (65%) of the population had never heard of mesothelioma, with more than a third (37%) of the British public still unaware that contact with asbestos can cause cancer. It also reveals that there is still widespread ignorance about the health hazards of asbestos and where it might be found in the home, despite the fact that anyone who comes into contact with it could be at risk.

Mark Hunter MP said: "I am delighted that the British Lung Foundation's Action Mesothelioma Campaign is helping to bring about real improvements for people with this cruel disease and continues to campaign for more research into the disease and more awareness about the dangers of asbestos. The British Lung Foundation's survey shows that there is a dangerously low lack of awareness amongst the British public that contact with asbestos causes cancer. The disease kills one person every five hours in the UK so it is vital that the public are aware of the potential dangers of asbestos in their homes, when undertaking DIY projects. I will continue to support the Action Mesothelioma Charter and the issues it raises."

Anyone who wants more information about the British Lung Foundation, or Action Mesothelioma should visit www.lunguk.org or call the BLF Helpline on 08458 50 50 20.

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