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CARPENTERS FACE MESOTHELIOMA RISK

One in 17 carpenters born in 1940s will die of mesothelioma

The largest global study of its kind funded by Cancer Research UK and HSE has calculated that men born in the 1940s who worked as carpenters for more than 10 years before they reached 30 have a lifetime risk for mesothelioma of about one in 17. For plumbers, electricians and decorators the risk is one in 50 and for other construction workers one in 125.

Professor Julian Peto, Cancer Research UK epidemiologist said: “The UK has the highest death rate from mesothelioma in the world. The risk is highest in people who were exposed to asbestos before age 30.”

Steve Coldrick, Head of HSE’s Disease Reduction Programme, said: “this research demonstrates that HSE has been correctly targeting the workers who are most at risk to asbestos exposure.” Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research said: “This research is important in revealing who is at greatest risk from asbestos exposure. We now need to ensure that accurate information for workers and regulation of the asbestos still in buildings keeps pace with what we’ve learned.”

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