April 8th 2013
Asbestos campaigners call on David Cameron to press for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on list of dangerous substances
Trade unions, doctors and asbestos campaigners have signed a letter from the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum calling on David Cameron to take urgent action to prevent vested interests blocking the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos on the list of dangerous chemicals and substances. Russia, the largest producer of asbestos and exporter of asbestos to developing countries leads the opposition to inclusion of asbestos on Annex 11 of the Rotterdam Convention. The Rotterdam Convention establishes the right to know about dangerous substances, and the failure to include chrysotile asbestos, a known and dangerous carcinogen, is unforgivable.
February 5th 2013
Call for Ministers to equalise dependency and in-life lump sum payments
Asbesos victims support groups have called on Ministers to honour the committment to equalise dependency and in-life Government lump sum payments. In 2010, the Government reduced the difference in payments and promised, in time, to eliminate the difference altogether. Since that time no further move has been made to end the difference in payments.
To see a briefing on the call for action on uprating payments click here
Simon Pickvance, founder of Workers' Health International Newsletter and pioneering occupational health worker and activist died 23 November 2012.
A tribute by Rory O’Neil, editor, Hazards:
Simon Pickvance, our friend, brilliant colleague and consummate internationalist and networker, died on 23 November 2012. He had been diagnosed with mesothelioma two years ago, a consequence of one-time day job as a bricklayer as he developed innovative, worker-oriented occupational health support in primary care. Simon created Workers' Health International Newsletter, which consolidated international information exchange and cooperation between union and health and safety activists and sympathetic medics and scientists worldwide. He was recently made an Emeritus Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. His work was also recognised in awards from the grassroots Construction Safety Campaign and Hazards Campaign. His earlier work as a molecular biologist was noted in John Sulston’s 2002 Nobel Prize lecture.
5 September 2012
Canada turns its back on asbestos
The Parti Quebecois, which has won a slender majority in the recent provincial election, is committed to terminating the $58m loan to revive the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine in Quebec.
In another extraordinary turn of events Canada's Minister of Industry, Christian Paradis, has announced that the Canadian Government will no longer oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance under the Rotterdam Convention.
Additionally, Christian Paradis, who has been a staunch supporter of the revival of the Thetford Asbestos Mine in his constituency, has announced that Canada will provide $50m to provide jobs in other industries, ending reliance on asbestos production.
This could be the END of asbestos production in Canada.
25 July 2012
Lord Freud announces new scheme for untraced insurance
Today, Lord Freud, Minister DWP, announced a scheme to pay compensation to mesothelioma sufferers who cannot trace their insurers. The scheme will be effective from today but will take about two years for payments to be made. We welcome this first move on untraced insurance but we are bitterley disappointed that the scheme doesn't cover 50% of asbestos victims who are excluded. We are pressing Lord Freud to include all asbestos victims.
To see the Forum press release click here...
Action Mesothelioma Day
Friday 6th July 2012
For a list of all UK events click here
29 June 2012
Quebec Government agrees loan guarantee to re-open the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine
The Quebec Government has shocked Canadian public health authorities, asbestos victims and thousands of Canadian citizens with the decision to fund the re-opening of the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine against international opposition. This new mine will produce some 5 million tonnes of asbestos over 20 years, most of which will be exported to india.
To see the Forum press release please click here
24th April 2012
The Government have given way to pressure from the Lords and agreed to exempt mesothelioma sufferers from paying legal costs
Lord Alton championed an amendment in the Lords to exempt asbestos victims from paying legal costs. In the Commons the Government finally gave way when the Lords sent the amendment back twice, exempting mesothelioma sufferers from paying legal costs until a report has been given to the Lord Chancellor assessing the impact of the Bill on mesothelioma sufferers. This is a signifcant concession and asbestos victims support groups would like to especially thank Lord Alton, Lord Avebury, Paul Goggins MP who co-ordinated support in the Commons and all those Peers and MPs of all parties who supported the amendment.
28th March 2012
Mesothelioma Sufferers Win Supreme Court Victory
Today, the Supreme Court decided to maintain the status quo so that insurers at the time exposure to asbestos occured are responsible for paying compensation. If the Court had agreed with the insurers's case that they only pay compensation when mesothelioma develops, thousands of mesothelioma sufferers would lose compensation because so many employers are no longer trading and there would be no insurer to pay compensation. This case has been dragged through the courts for 6 years and the judgment will at last end a long wait for justice. Sadly, thousands of mesothelioma sufferers have died during that time and never lived to see justice handed down.
To see the Forum press release please click here
3rd March 2012 All Party Peers attack gross injustice to asbestos victims in Times letter
Six Peers have written to the Times to say that a Government Bill which makes asbestos victims pay up to 25% of their damages for pain and suffering is a "gross in justice".
Eighteen Peers have already signed a letter to colleagues calling for support for amendments to prevent this injustice.
13th February 2012 - 16 Years sentence for 3,000 asbestos deaths in historic Turin Eternit trial
Eternit asbestos cement company magnates, Swiss Stephan Schnidheiny and Belgian Baron De Cartier de Marchienne have been found guilty today in a Turin court of criminal charges of causing wilful and deliberate environmental disaster and wilful and deliberate failure to implement precautions in the work place.
Click here to see Forum press release
For Eternit and The Great Asbestos Trial click here
14th December 2011 - Northern Ireland: Pleural Plaques
People suffering from the asbestos-related lung condition pleural plaques will be able to seek compensation from 14th December 2011.
12th December 2011 - Scotland: Pleural Plaques
A Supreme Court decision gives the Scottish Parliament the right to implement the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Act 2009 so that pleural plaques sufferers in Scotland may now claim compensation.
December 2011 - HSE Asbestos Campaign Resurrected
The Health and Safety Executive’s award-winning ‘Hidden Killer’ asbestos campaign is to recommence, after being put on hold for over a year on government instruction. The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum joined many other organisations lobbying to reinstate the Hidden Killer Campaign. Asbestos victims support groups welcome the reinstatement of the campaign which has the potential to save hundreds of lives.
December 2011 - Lord Alton tables amendments to protect asbestos victims’ compensation
Click here to see the Asbestos Forum’s briefing paper calling for support for Lord Alton’s amendments.
Lords speak up for asbestos victims in second reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Prosecution of Offenders Bill (LASPO Bill).
Several members of the House of Lords spoke on behalf of asbestos victims in the second reading of the LASPO Bill. Their comments are highlighted in the text of the second reading – click here