An asbestos campaign that has been launched by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive is being launched by Scottish minister Jim Murphy. Mr Murphy stated that he was shocked to hear that asbestos related deaths in the UK were rising year on year.

Official figures show that there are now around four thousand deaths a year from asbestos related diseases in the UK. Exposure to the deadly substance can result in respiratory problems, scarring of the lungs, and a form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

Mr Murphy stated: “These are not just statistics and each number represents a person with families and dependents and represents an avoidable human tragedy.” He added that people needed to ‘spread the word’ about the dangers of asbestos.

The HSE has said that around a quarter of the people dying from asbestos related diseases are tradesmen or former tradesmen, who are at increased risk of exposure due to the nature of their work. The new HSE campaign is called Asbestos: The Hidden Killer.

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