Asbestos was a key material used within the large dockyard of Plymouth It was used within most dockyard buildings as lagging for pipes as well as in the general construction of the site. Asbestos was in widespread use throughout the 1950s and 1960s and its use within the Dockyard was not brought to an end until 1999. It was also used as the insulation material of choice on board Her Majesty’s warships, and many Dockyard workers were inevitably exposed to Asbestos and Asbestos dust in carrying out their duties, leaving a terrible legacy to many Plymouth and Devon and Cornwall families.
New government figures show that Mesothelioma, which can be contracted through breathing in airborne asbestos particles, was the underlying cause of 2,139 deaths last year.
Overall 396 deaths were recorded in Devon and Cornwall, with around 120 in the four constituencies covering Plymouth, between 2008 and 2012.
There were 34 mesothelioma-related deaths in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, 31 in South West Devon, 28 in Plymouth Moor View and 27 in South East Cornwall.
The Tiverton and Honiton and Torridge and West Devon constituencies also both recorded 27 deaths.
The number of sufferers is particularly high in Plymouth and its surrounding communities, due to the asbestos used within Devonport Dockyard in the past. It was not just the people working with the Asbestos that were affected but anyone that came into contact with it or subjected to the disturbed Asbestos Particles such as family members who would regularly clean the dusty overalls of their partners who worked in the Dockyard.
Symptoms relating to asbestos can take between 30 and 60 years to become apparent resulting in many potential claims not being brought forward as the connection between current symptoms and previous exposure is not always made.
Wolferstans Solicitors have over 35 years of experience in helping people who have been exposed to asbestos in the dockyard and their families to bring their claims so if you believe you were exposed to asbestos dust whilst working in the Dockyard or someone within your family has, and is now experiencing breathlessness or other chest symptoms please contact us today on 01752 663295 to arrange a free initial discussion and advice on the options available to you regarding your potential claim.