BOROUGH MP Andrew Miller joined the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and others at the House of Commons to raise awareness of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
They were also supporting the BLF’s campaign to ensure everyone in the UK is asbestos aware.
To mark Action Mesothelioma Day the BLF is monitoring the progress of the Mesothelioma Framework, an NHS action plan for people with the disease.
The charity carried out a survey of cancer networks in England and presented its findings to the National Cancer Director Professor Mike Richards at the reception at Westminster.
Mr Miller signed a Commons Early Day Motion calling for greater efforts to be made to improve treatment and care for people with mesothelioma after the survey showed time and resources were proving major barriers to the full implementation of the Framework.
Mesothelioma kills one person every five hours in the UK and there is as yet no cure.
It takes between 15 and 60 years after exposure to asbestos for the symptoms of mesothelioma to become apparent and it is predicted the UK will face an epidemic of the cancer in 2011-2015 as people exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s are diagnosed with the disease.
Recent cases show tradespeople such as builders, plumbers, gas fitters and electricians are now most at risk of developing mesothelioma.
Just 12% of tradespeople are aware that exposure to asbestos can be fatal and less than a third know it can cause cancer, according to a new survey published by the BLF ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day.
Three quarters of tradespeople (74%) have never had any training in how to deal with asbestos even though the Health and Safety Executive warns that any building built or refurbished before 2000 could contain asbestos.
Mr Miller said: “I feel it is important people are made aware of the work of the British Lung Foundation and this particular Mesothelioma Campaign.
“Although a number of constituents have contacted me regarding their concerns about Mesothelioma, there is a surprising number of people who remain unaware of this disease.”
For more information about the British Lung Foundation, or Action Mesothelioma should visit www.lunguk.org or call the BLF Helpline on 08458 50 50 20.