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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Mesothelioma

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Mesothelioma on 24th November 1986.


Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment he has made of the significance of the proportion of awards of industrial death benefit to cases where mesothelioma is shown on the death certificate.

Mr. Major There are a number of reasons why industrial death benefit is not awarded in all cases where mesothelioma is shown on the death certificate. Benefit will be awarded only if the deceased was exposed to asbestos dust when working as an employed earner. Moreover, claims are not made for all such deaths. The deceased may not have left a widow, for example.

Mr. Dobson Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, if he will give for 1985 the number of cases of mesothelioma diagnosed by each medical board centre during the claimant's lifetime, and the number of cases in which the claimant had died before a decision was made.

Mr. Major There were 245 cases in 1985 where diffuse mesothelioma was diagnosed. Information about whether the decision was made in the claimant's lifetime could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.