BOROUGH MP Andrew Miller has shown his support for the British Lung Foundation's new initiative.

At the end of last month it held its first Action Mesothelioma Day, marking the start of a year-long campaign to raise awareness of this rare and aggressive form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The rising number of deaths from the condition is linked to the use of asbestos in homes, schools, hospitals and other buildings up until the mid 1980s.

The time between exposure to asbestos and developing mesothelioma can range from 15 to 60 years, with death coming within two years of diagnosis.

But according to new research by the Foundation, only 13% of people in the UK are aware of the disease and 7% know survival from diagnosis can be less than six months.

So far 14,294 people have signed the Action Mesothelioma patient charter which calls for faster diagnosis, better treatment and care services, more funding for research and measures to prevent future asbestos exposure. This was presented the 10 Downing Street on February 27 to launch the campaign.

Mr Miller said: 'This cruel disease kills one person every five hours in the UK and this figure is set to peak over the next decade.

'This campaign is vital to raise awareness of the condition and also the potential danger that people could face, from asbestos in their homes, when undertaking DIY projects.'

Foundation chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton said: 'We want to encourage more interest in mesothelioma and warn people about the precautions they can take to avoid exposure to asbestos in their homes.

For details, visit or telephone the Foundation on 08458 505020.