Phyllis Craig of Clydeside Action on Asbestos stated:

Our Aberdeen support group has sadly lost many members since it was established. Whenever someone in the group dies from mesothelioma or asbestos related lung cancer, it is a poignant reminder to the members that asbestos continues to kill. Each year around 5000 people die from mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer – a truly shocking number. This is not simply a statistic. It represents loss, grief and devastation for the friends and families who have lost loved ones, and we must take time out of our lives to remember them.

There is still a lot of ignorance about asbestos related disease. There is a perception that asbestos related disease is in the past, and that it is only men in certain heavy industries that are affected. This is simply not the case.’

Latest statistics show that in 2013, 412 women in the UK died from mesothelioma and 2,123 men. Many women were exposed to asbestos through their own employment, but have to battle against the presumption that their exposure must have been caused through washing their husband’s overalls.

Phyllis added:

Women often have the additional burden of having to try to cope with their illness whilst fighting to receive the benefits and compensation that they are entitled to.

Jim Massie, has asbestosis and has lost many friends to asbestos related disease:

I will be laying a wreath with my wife, May, at the memorial on behalf of CAA. It is very hard to lose members of our support groups and we know that the loss of life that we are seeing goes on throughout the UK and beyond. It is extremely frustrating to hear of people still being exposed to asbestos from asbestos that remains in buildings. The sad fact is that asbestos related disease will be with us for a long to come.

Jim attends the Aberdeen support group and believes that the group has been invaluable in helping him:

My wife and I both go to the group and have made good friends there. We have learned a lot from listening to others and listening to speakers that are invited along to the meetings.

Mr Chris Gordon of Thompsons Solicitors:

The fact that so many go along to the group and attend the memorial demonstrates to an extent, the legacy of asbestos exposure in this part of the country. But it is by no means the whole picture. When someone dies of an asbestos related condition, they are leaving behind children, partners, grandchildren, parents, friends and family. I talk to people with asbestos related conditions and grieving families every day and the impact on families cannot be underestimated or forgotten.

END

Note: The Memorial event was held in Johnston Gardens, Aberdeen, on Friday 29 April 2016 at 12.00 noon.

For further information please contact:
phyllisc@clydesideaction.co.uk or telephone Phyllis Craig 0141 552 8852

 

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