Liviing With Mesothelioma -My Diary – The GMB fight Asbestos in Schools. A Call for Asbestos Removal Workers to Join The GMB

Our Mesowarrior Calender for May

Where does the time go.

It rushes away and I want it to slow down.

Where does the time go? Does anyone know?
Tell me where does the time go?
There’s some things we’ll never know
If I could have a pound for every moment I’ve spent worrying
On all the little things in life that frankly there’s no hurrying
Then I would be a rich girl and I wanna be a rich girl soon
But going at this rate I think that it might take
Till there’s life on the moon…

The last few days have been so busy there is so much to do chasing rules and regulations and putting together my next plan for Asbestos Awareness and Mesothelioma help for newly diagnosed patients who contact me as they find my name when googling for help on the word Mesothelioma.

I never could have envisaged this when 6 years ago, on Polling day I walked up the road to vote and couldn’t breath as I reached the WI hall to do my duty.

I still cant remember if I did actual vote. Ray said we didnt and I said we did.

It was hobble home and then the GP phoned and I was in hospital that afternoon having 7ltrs drained.The story began.

I dont want others to feel so alone as I did.

Things have come a long way and there are more trials now and a great team of people waiting to help.

Im so proud of the part I have played just a small part in helping to raise the Awareness.

I seem to have arrived at two main areas that I want to fight In our homes –Be safe and have an Asbestos survey carried out on your home especially if an older build. Renovating Houses is putting you in danger

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate material that grew in popularity as an effective building material throughout the twentieth century, thanks in large part to its resilient strength and sound proofing qualities. Only by the 1970’s were the significant health risks of using asbestos-based materials starting to be acknowledged. If the substance is disturbed and becomes airborne it becomes highly dangerous. Released fibres can cause among several illnesses: irreversible scarring of the lungs; pleurisy; and asbestosis, which can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that damages internal organs). The EU officially banned the use of asbestos in Europe in 1999, but unfortunately it still remains in many UK homes today.

Apparently it used to be covered in the selling pack but for some reason got dropped so Im investigating if that is true.

The other area is Schools NUT calls for register of asbestos in schools.

Retired teacher Penny Devaney gave her life to education, literally.

Sometime during her 30 years at primary schools in Lancashire she was exposed to asbestos, which was commonly used in public buildings after the Second World War, and now she has terminal lung cancer.

“I was absolutely devastated when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which was caused purely by going to work and doing my job,” said Penny, 65.

“I never thought that I was being exposed to asbestos during my career and the diagnosis completely took me by surprise.”

The biggest teachers’ union is calling on the next government to tackle the “killer dust” tragedy, which claims the lives of up to 300 former pupils and 15 teachers a year.

The National Union of Teachers also accused the Tory-led coalition of double standards for ignoring calls to raise public awareness of asbestos.

Kevin Courtney, NUT deputy general secretary, said: “There were 266 domestic fire deaths in the UK in 2013 and about the same number of adults die each year as a result of asbestos exposure experienced as a child at school.

“But while the fire service rightly devotes much public effort and advertising revenue to warning against fire, there is no public awareness over asbestos in schools.”

In 2013 there were 109 cycle deaths and concerns over cycle safety led to increase police action and calls for safety features on lorries.

Mr Courtney added: “But the government allowed the Health and Safety Executive to stop proactive inspections of schools.

“This was despite the estimate of the number of former pupils whose deaths were related to asbestos exposure alone being more than twice the number who die on bicycles.

“It is clearly right to try to reduce fire and cycle deaths – but why is there so little focus on asbestos? Perhaps it is the delayed effect – death can occur decades after first exposure. It’s a double standard.”

Ian Toft, an expert asbestos lawyer at her solicitors Irwin Mitchell, said: “Penny, like many other teachers, was not warned of the dangers of asbestos, despite the risks of exposure being known for decades.

“We have continually called for a full risk register documenting the presence of asbestos in public buildings including schools, which will ensure people are warned of the risks they are being exposed to.”

These articles keep me focused and I know Im on the right path. I use my story in every way I can to show just what Asbestos does. I have over stretched my time, 3 months is now 6 years so I want to keep repaying and put put something back. Its become an Obsession of mine. Lucky enough I have a husband that backs me and is with me all the way. Even if it does mean he has to Vacuum Clean and wash the dishes sometimes as i call out “just 5 mins and I will be finished here” That turns into 5 hours sometimes.

The power of Social Media is wonderful. Dont knock Facebook and twitter they are very powerful in my world.

AsbestosVoice Asbestos

I have found a great gang of Lads who work in the Asbestos removal game.

They are trying hard to get everyone into a union to protect themselves and to have a fair deal.

They say —

·Every workplace could use a union. A union is the only real mechanism that exists to represent the interests of employees in a company. A union is also the only real mechanism that enables employees to join together to bargain collectively, rather than as a bunch of separate, powerless entities. This is useful in good times (which our company enjoys now), and even more in bad times (which will inevitably come).

·Though our company is relatively well run, pays relatively competitive salaries, and treats its employees relatively well, there are still certain issues that many employees would like to see addressed. We would like to ensure everyone receives a salary that is fair for their time at the company and the work they do. We would like to ensure that things like pay and raises are set in a fair, transparent, and unbiased way. We would like to have some basic mechanism for giving employees a voice in the decisions that affect all of us here.

·There was a time when much of the media was unionized. As journalism has moved online and flourished over the past 20 years or so, union workplaces have become much more rare in our industry. Gawker Media would be the first major online media company to organize. That is something that everyone at this company—employees, management, and owners alike—could be proud of. There are plenty of companies in this industry whose workers could desperately use the help of a union. If we can show that it’s possible, I hope that a positive precedent will be set.

AsbestosVoice Asbestos stated –we could have a powerful union guys and do great things helping not just ourselves but be a true community and help others to.

Unions are great for fighting a cause

The GMB back the campaign for Asbestos in Schools and on March 17th

Parliament Debate On Asbestos In Schools

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dept For Education Review On Asbestos In Schools Lacks Strategy To Deal With Massive Problem As Parliament Debates Issue On 17th March 2015 Says GMB

The next government should ensure phased removal of all asbestos from schools is planned within a realistic timescale and on a proportionate basis decided by the asbestos damage and the potential for exposure in each school says GMB.

GMB, the union for school support staff, welcome the adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday 17th March on the review published last week by Department for Education (DfE) of asbestos management in schools.

The debate will be led by Jim Sheridan MP on this important topic as over 75% of UK schools contain some asbestos and it is estimated that over 85% of English schools contain asbestos.

The DfE closed its consultation on the management of asbestos in schools in March 2014 and on 12th March, 8 months later than promised it published its’ review of the asbestos management in schools. This was followed up by a Ministerial statement from David Laws on Monday 16th March.

John McClean, GMB National Health &Safety Officer, said “GMB welcome the publication of the review, albeit this close to the election, and issued on the same day that the proposals for teachers pay were made public.

This issue is of major importance as all asbestos can cause cancer.  Britain has the worst mesothelioma incidence in the World ( in 2012 it was 39.2 per million compared to USA rate of 14 per million). In 2013 the Committee on Carcinogenicity confirmed that children are more vulnerable to asbestos exposure than adults as they will have a greater time to develop asbestos related diseases. There is no known threshold of exposure to asbestos below which there is no risk.

However, while the review acknowledges the massive problem it lacks strategy to deal with the asbestos in schools over the long term.

It still maintains that schools are a low risk environment even though lively children often unknowingly damage the fabric of the building in a manner that does not happen in an exclusive adult workplace. This damage can lead to the release of deadly asbestos fibres, affecting both children and staff. This inadvertent exposure is not properly covered by the existing Control of Asbestos at Work regulations which are principally designed for those who work knowingly and directly on asbestos.

The next government should ensure that a proper, phased removal of all asbestos from schools is planned within a realistic timescale and on a proportionate basis decided by the asbestos damage and the potential for exposure in each school.”


Now thats talking my talk.

rays welcome2

Rays Blog


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