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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Top areas for asbestos cancer deaths revealed

27 Aug 2015
APIL news

New figures show the rate of deaths from asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in England is climbing.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has also compiled the ten areas with the highest mortality rates for asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. Barrow-in-Furness tops the list with a mortality rate three times the average for England.

“Mesothelioma is a legacy of Britain’s industrial heritage,” said Jonathan Wheeler, president of not-for-profit group APIL, which is campaigning for more help for sick and dying workers. “Thankfully, employers nowadays are more aware of the dangers of exposing workers to asbestos. But those who were exposed 30 or 40 years ago are now facing death sentences for simply turning up to work.”

The average rate of deaths from mesothelioma in England is 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people. For the period 2008-2012 the rate was 2.6, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Local Authority

Deaths per 100,000 population



South Tyneside


North Tyneside








Newcastle Upon Tyne






Castle Point











Mr Wheeler continued: “Our members are lawyers and many of them see former dockworkers,factory workers, tradesmen and even teachers, who have never worked in heavy industry but have been exposed in schools, seeking compensation to make them comfortable in their final months, and to ensure their families will be secure financially. But because records have been lost or destroyed over time, it is not always possible to track down the former employers’ insurers, which is what you really need to do to be able to claim compensation”.  

“There is now a Government fund of last resort for them to turn to in that eventuality but it doesn’t quite go far enough. It needs to be extended to include other asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, so that other suffering workers can get the justice they need and deserve.”

Projections from the Health and Safety Executive predict that male deaths from mesothelioma will peak in 2020.*


Notes to editors:

·        The latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics in August 2015 detail deaths in England and Wales in 2014.

·        *Mortality rates calculated using figures between 2010 and 2014.

·        Figures from the Office of National Statistics available on request through the APIL press office.

·        *Source: Health and Safety Executive  Mesothelioma in Great Britain 2014

·        APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.

·        For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officer Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: or assistant press and communications officer Ben Yates on t: 0115 943 5431, e:

·        Visit the association’s website at


·        Follow@APIL on Twitter:


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Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431