DOZENS of Wigan people have died from asbestos-related cancer in the space of just four years, shock new figures reveal.
Campaigners today called for more support for sick and dying workers in the wake of news that 74 folk from the borough succumbed to mesotheliomas between 2010 and 2014.
Wigan has the 78th highest mortality rate in England and Wales for the disease at 5.3 deaths per 100,000 people, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics reveals.
The average rate for England and Wales is 4.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
One reason Wigan’s rate is well above the national average is because it for many years was home to an asbestos factory, Turner Brothers.
Many members of that long-defunct business’s workforce have fallen victim to the almost always terminal condition which can lie dormant for decades in the lung before killing within months or even weeks.
Just one inhaled fibre can kill.
“Mesothelioma is a legacy of Britain’s industrial heritage,” said Jonathan Wheeler, president of not-for-profit group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).