With funding from Foundation Derbyshire, we have been able to produce a new information leaflet entitled Asbestos and Agriculture. This aims to give guidance to those working on farms where asbestos might be present. Millions of tonnes of the substance was imported to the UK in the 20th century, and it was regularly used in farm buildings.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UK ban on asbestos. Since 1999, it has been illegal to use or import asbestos, to the benefit of everyone’s long term health.
This victory, of great importance to millions of trade union members, must be marked. Although there are no new imports and uses of asbestos here, there are still thousands of tonnes present in our national infrastructure. We must continue to highlight this ongoing risk. We should also take this opportunity to remind people why this ban is vitally important. In these times of political instability, the repeal of the asbestos ban is not beyond the realms of possibility. The anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to promote these issues.
Action Mesothelioma Day is always the first Friday in July. It was originally designated by the British Lung Foundation in 2006. It is commemorated by the Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum, medical charities and other interested groups.