Where would we in the UK be without, first, the voluntary ban on industrial use of asbestos in the 1960s, then the 1985 ban on the import and use of both blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos and, finally, the eventual ban on all types of asbestos that came into effect in 1999? It is not really a question that bears thinking about; only today, around four decades on from the deadly mineral's heyday, are we beginning to see the mesothelioma compensation and mortality rates finally beginning to peak.
The Swedish example
It is more than three decades since Sweden introduced a ban on all forms of asbestos – it took the UK around a decade and half longer to introduce similar measures – and the effects have been profound, as Sweden is now experiencing a drop in the rate of mesothelioma compensation claims and mortality rates.
In fact, Sweden was a real trailblazer on the asbestos front; along with Iceland and Norway, which introduced asbestos bans in 1982 and 1983 respectively, it was a pioneer in recognising and addressing the issue of asbestos use. Since Sweden banned the use of asbestos in 1982 around fifty countries have followed suit.
However, other countries, including developed ones such as the USA and Canada, have so far failed to heed the lessons of asbestos or to follow the example of the Swedes; something that is a tragic fact irreconcilable with the terrible and demonstrable legacy of asbestos.
"There is no good argument to use asbestos, anymore," Bengt Jarvholm, senior professor of the department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umea University in Sweden, says. "Especially in an industrialised country."
The professor said the notion that finding an alternative to asbestos was too difficult and too expensive was not worthy of intelligent consideration. "When the discussion was hot in Sweden in the 1970s, some people said it could not be replaced in brake linings. However, it was quickly replaced, and even improved, when the market demanded it," he commented.
Your legal right to a mesothelioma claim
Following a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you have a number of legal rights you are able to enforce. When you make a mesothelioma compensation claim with us, in addition to helping you secure settlement, we can help you ensure you receive all your possible entitlements, including state benefits.
Wherever you are in the UK, we can help you with your asbestos industrial disease claim – in fact, even if you live abroad, we can help you secure civil compensation. We have experience of securing compensation for UK claimants living in many locations across the world.
For free and no obligation advice, please call us on 0800 508 8747 or submit an online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will call you to discuss your enquiry in more detail.