ACTION MESOTHELIOMA DAY 2017
By DAST Chair Dave Trigg
Friday July 7th. Roundhouse, Derby College
Joanne Gordon welcomed everyone to the event and gave a brief talk about the ‘Print’ which was inspired by an original paper by Laurie Kazan-Allen.
“The Female Face of Britain’s Asbestos Catastrophe”
Donated to DAST by Christine Postlethwaite through Richard Morgan, our thanks go to both of them.
Following Joanne’s talk, Joanna Reeve gave a short monologue, written by Sarah Walters and based on information by a Headteacher responding to our Heritage Lottery Questionnaire.
June Morley, a Macmillan Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist, and a colleague Sue Bates, both from the Kings Mill Hospital, gave a talk on the “The Patient’s Journey”.
Shay Boyle followed with another monologue about working on the railways, an apt monologue for our setting in the Roundhouse.
This was followed by Jason Addy, our main speaker. Jason is, for me, always a pleasure to listen to. He is in the Premier League to my division two.
Jason is the man behind the ‘Save Spodden Valley’ campaign established to fight proposals to build on the site of the former T&N asbestos factory in Rochdale.
Over the past few years Jason has uncovered damning evidence of the lies, counter lies, cover-ups, denials used not just by T&N and its successors, but by the other major asbestos producing firms and their ‘friends’. He has also uncovered many disturbing issues about the involvement of the medical profession, journalists and politicians, nationally and locally, who have defended and supported the asbestos industry.
In particular Jason referred to Julian Peto, whose work is frequently quoted today. “In a friendly handwritten 1977 letter to a T&N senior manager, Julian Peto boasts of being shouted down at a meeting and accused of being “a capitalist lacky”. This suggests a bond of camaraderie between the cancer scientist and the asbestos corporation in a way that dismissed the concerns of the general public.”
Jason backed his opinion by showing us documentary evidence.
“Another document is a 1993 transcript, drafted in a pre-digital age, of a national BBC radio broadcast about health concerns regarding asbestos in the environment. Julia Peto’s opinions were clearly expressed – he believed that there was no risk from asbestos products in buildings. He suggested that such claims were scientifically unfounded and “hysterical.” Such opinions remain exceedingly useful to those denying liability for environmental asbestos exposure. Similar claims are still being made in today’s chrysotile asbestos industry.”
He also highlighted how the pro asbestos lobby claims that the anti- groups are ’emotional’ ‘alarmist’ and that the issue is ‘yesterday’s problem’. We were told that T&N, even had a paper drawn up listing ‘Key points’ to be used to counter any arguments put forward, publicly, by the anti-asbestos groups.
Our Japanese Colleagues
Following Jason’s presentation we heard from two of the Japanese delegation, and their heartfelt stories. We were told that, of 178 teachers known to have died recently from mesothelioma, only 5 have been compensated.
Mrs Kahoru Udagawa gave her story. She was followed by Mrs Miyuki Nomura, a member of the Hokuriku Branch. Her husband died of mesothelioma in 2013 at the age of 47 as a result of exposure to asbestos during temporary construction work when he was a student.
We learnt, again, that we have the same issues, the two ladies giving similar stories as any widow to asbestos would tell here in the UK.
Sarah Walters then read the winning poem from our competition, which is printed within this newsletter.
Our thanks go to all who participated in this.
Artwork Installation of The Reflection Rose and paper Dollies
There was a display of ‘Paper Dollies’ by Rachel Carter. The paper dollies were arranged inside a r
a of the DAST Reflection Rose. There were 209 paper dollies representing the number of people helped and supported by DAST last year. This was well received.
Thanks go to all who attended the event and to the ‘William and Mabel Morris Trust’ for helping to fund the event and to all our volunteers who helped out on the day as well as sharing their story with the media. Something that is so important in raising awareness. A big thank you to you all.
Action Mesothelioma Day Round up
Thank you to everyone sponsoring a ‘paper dolly’. We raised a fantastic £2,132 from the sponsorship of dollies plus donations on the day. Amounts raised for Mesothelioma UK, June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research fund totalling £894 have been sent to the respective organisations.
S.O.S by Pamela Smith
A dangerous killer stalks our land
Unseen, invisible, a silent hand
That protects from flames and searing heat
But beware of this preposterous cheat.
If undisturbed it does no harm,
Disturb it – then sound the alarm –
Minute fibres pollute the air
To settle all around us, everywhere,
Invading the unsuspecting lung
And there the damage has begun.
No symptoms yet, though slow but sure
Comes the cancer, and there is no cure.
Where and when were the fibres about?
Who can we blame? What can we find out?
So many questions and it comes as a shock
That the once-prized asbestos has caused such havoc.
In roofs and in walls the danger will lurk
Where children are in school, in our places of work.
There is no peace of mind now that we know
And to protect the future, Asbestos must go.