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Action Mesothelioma Day

(July 05, 2012)

Steve and Big Ben 2

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram has urged people from across Merseyside to attend Action Mesothelioma Day at Liverpool Town Hall at 11.00am - 3.00pm tomorrow and show support for victims of this disease.

Steve explained, "I have campaigned for victims of Mesothelioma for as long as I have been in politics because I know what a devastating disease this is. Campaigners have been lobbying successive Governments to take this disease seriously and treat it as an industrial disease.

"The Government have thus far, not been willing to engage in the debate in the way that we hoped. In fairness, it is not just in Britain where Mesothelioma is not given the appropriate health warning. At the end of June the Quebec Government announced that a loan agreement of $58million to re-open the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine would go ahead and that the mining of chrysotile (white) asbestos would start once again. This is despite the Quebec Government’s own health authority and the Canadian Medical Association calling for an end to the production and use of asbestos. Five million tonnes of asbestos will now be exported from the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine to developing countries, such as India, over the next 20 years.

"The Quebec mines were once the world’s biggest producer of asbestos but had been closed for some months due to financial and operational difficulties. Canada no longer uses the asbestos that they mine but export the raw mineral ore to the developing world instead."

There has been international condemnation of this loan agreement, especially from health campaigners in India. John Flanagan of the Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support Group said“This decision came just a week before Action Mesothelioma Day when mesothelioma victims are remembered and their lives commemorated. This is truly shocking news. Shame on Quebec for putting profits before the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our world! And shame on Canada for this blatant hypocrisy. Canadian citizens are subject to a de-facto ban on the use of asbestos yet people in developing countries are not given the same protection. This year more than ever we need the support of the community to ensure all necessary steps are taken to eradicate asbestos from the global environment”.

Laurie Kazan-Allen - Editor of the British Asbestos Newsletter & Coordinator of the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat said - “Action Mesothelioma Day 2012 is a time to reflect on developments regarding the rights of UK asbestos victims. Will these rights still be upheld in the face of a major assault by defendants and insurers? Around the world the use of asbestos continues to endanger the health of millions of innocent people.  UK asbestos victims speak with one voice when they call for an international ban on the use of asbestos.”

Steve concluded, "Asbestos victims and their families from Walton and across Liverpool will be attending Action Mesothelioma Day at Liverpool Town Hall at 11.00am - 3.00pm. The focus this year this will be on “the need for a worldwide ban on the mining, manufacture, and use of all forms of asbestos”.  On the day there will be several guest speakers giving presentations on the need for an international ban on the use of asbestos, the health effects of Mesothelioma and the role of respiratory nurses. At 12pm (noon) there will be a release of sponsored Doves in tribute to all those who have suffered from Mesothelioma. I urge as many people as possible to attend."

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