Doves released to remember those who died from ‘asbestos’ cancer

Doves were released in the street to commemorate thousands of men and women who have died from asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma.

The 24 white birds were released at a ceremony organised by London Councils outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City to raise awareness of asbestos—especially in schools.

Industrial disease expert Edmund Young, an associate with Fenton’s law firm in Aldgate which fights for compensation for victims and their families, said: “Deaths caused by asbestos exposure in schools, homes, public buildings and work places continues to rise.

“It is vital for more government-funded research into treatment and better asbestos control measures, particularly in schools.”

Carol Hagedorn, a former teacher forced to retire after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2008, spoke of her campaign to remove asbestos in schools.

Three-out-of-four schools in Britain contain asbestos, she warned, potentially putting thousands of children at risk later in life. In the last 10 years alone, 140 teachers have died from mesothelioma.

Dr Jeremy Steele, a chest physician for Barts and The London NHS Trust, gave a presentation on mesothelioma which he described as “an aggressive terminal lung cancer” that campaigners say is entirely avoidable, yet cases continue to rise with deaths now reaching 2,450 a year.

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East London Mesothelioma Support Group member Eileen Beadle gave a moving tribute in memory of her husband Raymond—who died from mesothelioma five years ago—before the doves were released.