Action Mesothelioma Day: Prevention is better than seeking a cure

Ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is posing this question, ‘What can we do to help prevent lives being ruined by exposure to asbestos?’

In Britain, more than 2,500 people die from mesothelioma every year because of past exposure to asbestos. The deadly material has been banned since 1999, but it still lurks in at least half a million buildings, posing huge risks in the future to anyone who comes into contact with it now.

On Action Mesothelioma Day (Action Meso Day) this Friday, 2 July, support groups, charities and other organisations and individuals are coming together to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos. For the second successive year,  events are being held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

IOSH President Jimmy Quinn says we need to use the Day to inform people of the risks of asbestos exposure and how we can all take steps to prevent further suffering in future.

He said: “Action Meso Day is a very important day in the calendar, providing an opportunity to spread the message about how dangerous asbestos really is and that it still poses a risk today.

“Asbestos may be banned from new buildings and people who are currently suffering with cancers like mesothelioma may have been exposed over 20 years ago, but it is still all around us.”

Warning people about the dangers is the first step in preventing the harm it can cause.

Our regional event begins at 11 o’clock. Please email for an invitation to join in on Zoom. It will be an opportunity to share and hear stories about the impact that mesothelioma is having. You can also post messages of support and remembrance on our Facebook wall (@asce.wmht).

Friday’s national virtual event is being held from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. It will be introduced by broadcaster, academic and peritoneal mesothelioma patient Kate Williams. She will also host a panel discussion about trials and treatments.

As part of the event, people are being asked to print out a ‘My Action Board’ and write a message on it, which they can then share on screen, about how they are taking action to prevent asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma. You can apply for an invitation at

Mavis Nye, who was exposed to asbestos when washing her husband Ray’s work clothes, says: “We want people to consider how they can take action to prevent asbestos exposure and the terrible diseases it causes. Just because you can’t see asbestos fibres, and it doesn’t impact on your life immediately, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously.”