Asbestos-related cancer deaths above average

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NINETEEN people in the High Peak died from the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma over a five-year period, new figures show.

The statistics, obtained by the not-for-profit campaign group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) under the Freedom of Information Act, show that from 2006 to the end of 2010, mesothelioma was recorded as the underlying cause of 19 deaths in the area. This is the equivalent of 2.8 deaths in 100,000 people, compared to the average for England and Wales during the same period of 2.5.

APIL president David Bott said: “More people die of mesothelioma in High Peak per head of the population than in most other parts of the country.

“This is bad enough, but the number of men dying from this disease is expected to peak during the next five years and what many people don’t realise is that hundreds of sufferers across the UK cannot get the compensation they need to help them through the last days of their life.

“What is needed is for the Government to bring forward proposals for a fund of last resort which would act as a safety net for injured workers who are otherwise unable to pursue the justice they deserve. The Government proposed to set up a fund of last resort shortly before the general election, but 18 months has now passed and nothing has been heard about it since.”

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos.