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Asbestos campaign makes an impact

A team which deals every day with the UK’s asbestos ‘public health disaster’ has run a hard-hitting campaign to raise awareness about the deadly substance.

Asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services, which has a branch in Birmingham, backed the latest Global Asbestos Awareness Week by running its own campaign called ‘What does asbestos mean to me?’.

Throughout the campaign, Acorn released specially made videos of people - from medical practitioners and asbestos removal experts to campaigners and people affected by asbestos-related diseases.

Acorn’s campaign was backed by leading charities Mesothelioma UK and ActionMeso and promoted heavily in newspapers, magazines and by radio stations and business organisations. The campaign also attracted more than 55,000 impressions across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, almost 15,000 video views and received retweets across the globe from other asbestos organisations.

Company director Neil Munro said: “This campaign is incredibly close to our hearts because our team is out on the frontline dealing with the aftermath of the UK’s terrible asbestos legacy.

“We’ve seen first hand the devastating impact asbestos can have on people’s lives when it’s not managed correctly by teams like ours. We’re so grateful to everyone who took the time to share their experiences, especially those who have become ill or lost loved ones as a result of asbestos.

“We’re also grateful to the likes of Mesothelioma UK’s head of nursing, Lorraine Creech, for explaining how her team of nurses is dealing with what she described as the UK’s ‘massive public health disaster’ caused by asbestos. By sharing their stories we hope we will prevent more people succumbing to the completely preventable diseases that are caused by asbestos.”

Every year around 90,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases around the globe, including 5,000 in the UK. Although asbestos use was banned in the UK in 1999, around 1.5 million properties in the country still contain asbestos.

Fellow Acorn director Ian Stone said: “It’s shocking how many people still have their lives cut short by asbestos. Asbestos remains the world’s number one workplace killer. We tend to think of its victims as those working in the building industry but its reach is far greater than that.

“We know of one family who lost their wife and mother to asbestos at the age of 51. She hadn’t worked in a trade where you might expect her to come into contact with asbestos - she was a teacher. It turned out she’d been exposed to asbestos simply by pinning schoolwork on to display boards that contained asbestos fibres. Seeing her family torn apart is one of the reasons we will continue our fight to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.

“We need the public to start to be on the alert for asbestos in their everyday lives, not only in their own properties but also when visiting public buildings, so together we can save lives.”

Pictured: Acorn directors Ian Stone and Neil Munro

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