THE DUST OF DEATH
- By Emily Cook And Mark Swain, mirror.co.uk
The horror of one of Britain's deadliest imports is about to be unleashed on those unwittingly exposed to its dangers.
Deaths from asbestos-related diseases could reach at least 200,000 - and many of the victims will not even be aware they are at risk until it is too late.
The shocking figures are the grim legacy of the millions of tons of the dust shipped to Britain to make homes, schools, offices and factories fire resistant.
Among those most at risk are carpenters, laggers, plumbers and electricians who worked on building sites around the country.
It is predicted more than 2,000 people a year will die from mesothelioma alone - a lung cancer caused by asbestos. Adding deaths from asbestos-related lung cancer and asbestosis, annual fatalities could reach 6,000.
One expert branded the rising number of deaths a 'silent and working class epidemic' because of the nature of who it affects most.
The Daily Mirror today launches a campaign for those struck down by the killer dust.