On 22 June 2012 I posted a brief note on the sad death of my good friend Chris a few years ago from the effects of an industrial disease contracted whilst working with asbestos.
I also mentioned this year`s Action Mesothelioma Day (6 July 2012) and the fact that the theme for the day was to call for a global ban on asbestos.
Mesothelioma UK have now released the first of two bulletins giving details of events that took place on the day.
By definition, many of the groups involved in the day are community-based groups more accustomed to raising funds/awareness and providing support to people in difficulties than with being part of a co-ordinated campaign. Nevertheless, all the groups involved contributed in their own way and I congratulate them all.
I particularly liked the Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group, who like a number of groups, had to abandon a plan to release doves as an act of remembrance due to severe weather conditions but stated defiantly "the rain spoilt nothing about the day". That`s the spirit !
Returning to the campaign itself, two events may be of particular interest.
In Manchester, the meeting was addressed by Canadian campaigner Kathleen Ruff who spoke about the Quebec Government`s decision to fund the re-opening of the Jeffrey Asbestos Mine which is expected to extract and export 5 million tonnes of asbestos over the next 20 years. Most is expected to go to countries such as India that have no restrictions on the importation of asbestos.
A number of MPs addressed the meeting, and I believe all of these were from the Labour Party. Amongst them was Jim Dobbin MP who had asked the Prime Minister and the International Development Secretary, both Conservatives, to encourage international communities to oppose this decision. To his credit, Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to raise the issue at a meeting with the World Health Organisation later that day.
In Leicester, that city`s first elected Lord Mayor, Councillor Abdul Razak Osman, also endorsed the call for a global ban and spoke of the need to support those whose goverments have no restrictions on the importation of asbestos.
If you would like to know more about the campaign, or about the events that took place on the day, please contact Liz Darlison or Tracey Heseltine at www.mesothelioma.uk.com .
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