Rate of mesothelioma deaths in Corby continues to rise
New figures show that six people die of asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma every day in England and Wales, with Corby having one of the highest mortality rates for the disease.
Corby has the 30th highest rate of deaths from mesothelioma, with 6.54 deaths in every 100,000 people.
This is an increase on last year, when Corby had the 40th highest mortality rate at 6.3 deaths per 100,000.
Wellingborough, Northampton and East Northamptonshire are all also above the national average, which is 4.51.
The figure in Wellingborough is 5.63, in Northampton it is 4.63 and in East Northamptonshire it is 4.58.
Elsewhere, South Northamptonshire has a death rate of 4.21, Daventry’s is 3.35 and in Kettering it is 3.16.
Neil Sugarman is president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, a not-for-profit campaign group which campaigns for redress for sick and dying workers.
He said: “The suffering of families affected by mesothelioma demonstrates how important it is that lessons are learned and health and safety in the workplace is respected.
“Mesothelioma is a lung cancer exclusively linked to exposure to asbestos, which could have happened 20 or even 30 years before the disease emerges.
“It is always fatal, often within 18 months of diagnosis.
“Areas such as Corby, which has a high rate of deaths from mesothelioma, are no doubt seeing the effects of past industry where workers were sometimes negligently exposed to asbestos.
“This is despite the risks being well-known since as far back as the 1950s.
“People went to work and came home with a death sentence because their negligent employers exposed them to asbestos.”
In the past 10 years, the number of deaths from mesothelioma has risen by nearly a third, with the number of deaths expected to peak in 2018.
Mr Sugarman added: “As the effects of more robust regulation of the use of asbestos and better safety practices come to fruition, the number of needless deaths should start to decline.
“Construction workers and association tradesmen are a high-risk group for asbestos exposure, as are shipbuilders.
“Even teachers are at risk as asbestos was used so widely when building schools. Nineteen teachers are dying from mesothelioma each year.
“It’s a national tragedy.”