§ Mr. Rendel
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence her Department has found to link exposure to untreated amosite with serious illness.
§ Mr. Sackville
The principal diseases caused by exposure to amosite—brown asbestos—are asbestosis—a fibrosis or scarring of the lung causing difficulty in breathing—lung cancer, and malignant mesothelioma—a cancer of the inner lining of the chest or abdominal wall. Asbestosis was prescribed as an industrial disease in 1933 and mesothelioma in 1966. Since then further diseases have been prescribed such as pneumoconiosis, diffuse mesothelioma, primary carcinoma, or bilateral diffuce pleural thickening through working with asbestos.
The import, supply and use of amosite and crocidolite—blue asbestos—and any product that contains them were banned in the United Kingdom in 1985.