Hospital and School asbestos removal could save £12billion

Asbestos removal from schools and hospitals would benefit UK economy by almost £12 billion over 50 years, says new report

New research commissioned by asbestos-related cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK, has revealed that asbestos removal from schools and hospitals within the next 10 years could save the UK economy almost £12 billion over 50 years, with a saving to UK public finances estimated at £3.6 billion.

 The report states that in 2023, the total cost to the UK economy and society of asbestos-related diseases for former school and hospital workers was just over £1.3 billion.

Almost 25 years on from the ban on the use of asbestos in the UK, many buildings – including hospitals and schools – still contain this harmful substance. Thousands of people continue to die from unnecessary exposure to asbestos every year.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee recommended that the UK put in place a national plan to remove all asbestos from buildings over the next 40 years.

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK each year, as more than 5,000 people under the age of 75 die from asbestos-related cancers. More than half of those deaths are from mesothelioma, a cancer, most commonly of the lungs or abdomen, for which there is no cure. Up to 60 per cent of patients die in the first year after diagnosis, and just over five in 100 survive their mesothelioma for five years or more.

Sir Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, recently spoke on a panel at the Labour Party’s Annual Conference about the dangers of asbestos, and the need for a government plan to remove it. Sir Stephen commented: “This report provides important new evidence to support our Work and Pensions Select Committee recommendation for a national plan to remove asbestos from British workplaces over the next 40 years, and to create a central register of all asbestos in non-domestic buildings.”


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