Monday 27th February. Manchester Town Hall:
Photo call 12.30pm Town Hall steps.
Meeting: Great Hall 1-3pm.
In the UK, almost 2000 people die from mesothelioma each year. This trend is expected to increase until 2020. The TUC have estimated that for every mesothelioma death there are 1-2 asbestos related lung cancer deaths.
Victims are not limited to those who worked in asbestos production or heavy industries, such as shipbuilding, where asbestos was widely used.
Mesothelioma does not discriminate on race, class or gender. The cancer has killed housewives that once washed their husband’s overalls as well as university lecturers, school teachers, entertainers, electricians, miners, dock workers, plumbers, secretaries, doctors and even managers who have worked in offices for the asbestos industry.
In the UK, it is estimated that more people die of asbestos related disease than from road traffic accidents.
In the UK, asbestos cancer could take more lives than a “9/11” EVERY YEAR until the middle of this century - yet there is no government funding for research to find a cure.
Worldwide, 100,000 people die each year from asbestos related disease.
Such facts have compelled the British Lung Foundation to organise an “Action Day on Mesothelioma” to create a greater awareness of the disease.
Details of Action on Mesothelioma Day were announced by Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation at last month’s Parliamentary Asbestos subcommittee. This meeting at Westminster was attended by local MP’s Paul Rowen and Jim Dobbin together with Jason Addy of the Save Spodden Valley campaign- as reported on Indymedia at:
Rochdale holds significant records regarding asbestos:
The Turner Brothers Asbestos (TBA) was one of the world’s first modern asbestos factories. First producing asbestos in the early 1870’s, the Spodden Valley saw production end only in the 1990’s. Until 1948, the Rochdale offices of TBA controlled the decisions of its world-wide business operations.
The world’s first Asbestosis death was of a young Rochdale TBA worker- Nellie Kershaw in 1924. TBA recognised that asbestos worker William Pennington died of mesothelioma in 1936. Richard Doll, the epidemiologist who confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer, discovered in 1955 that Rochdale asbestos workers had a greatly increased risk of lung cancer. -TBA archives show that the company attempted to suppress these findings.
The TBA Rochdale offices were also home to the Asbestosis Research Institute whose work was used to lobby for the continued use of asbestos.
- International Asbestos Memorial for Rochdale -
It has just been confirmed that Rochdale Council have agreed to a permanent International Asbestos Memorial close to Rochdale Town Hall.
The memorial, believed to be the first of its kind is due to be unveiled for Workers Memorial Day on April 28th. This is the fulfilment of a promise made by Paul Rowen and Lorna Fitzsimons at last year’s Workers Memorial Day as reported at:
Nellie Kershaw lies in an unmarked grave in Rochdale Cemetery. At long last, a simple stone will mark the fact that Nellie, and the further countless victims of asbestos related disease, worldwide, will not be forgotten.