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Asbestos Drilling May Have Led to Death of UK Man

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Manchester, EnglandThe death of John Shiers from cancer, which has been alleged to come from asbestos drilling, has raised questions about housing providers across the United Kingdom, Inside Housing reported.

This problem has been reported on both sides of the Atlantic, as officials from housing agencies have noted the issues related to this alleged cancer-causing material.

Shiers, a resident of Hulme, Manchester, died at the end of October 2011, after being diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago. The news source reported that his home—along with a majority of the roughly 3,500 properties in Hulme—was riddled with asbestos.

Mesothelioma, the cancer that killed John Shiers, is caused by breathing in asbestos fibers. This terminal disease is commonly linked to exposure in the workplace, sometimes from drilling, and is a problem for many housing workers.

The pain that came from the cancer shocked many of his close friends.

"He had a horrible, horrible death," his close friend Ian Wilmott told the news source. "He didn't slip away. The levels of pain he suffered were horrific."

A major report was conducted in the UK to study the housing structures that may contain the substance, as the number of deaths that were allegedly caused by the material troubled authorities.

Comissioned by the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, the report noted that landlords and building companies could do more to remove the substance. Decisions by landlords not to inform residents were also targeted as a problem in the system, according to the news source.

"Scientific notions of risk, threshold levels and danger are not based upon accidentally drilling through an asbestos wall, or on children picking threads out of asbestos-containing panel or dedicated housewives scrubbing their asbestos floor tiles," said the report.

A large asbestos drilling mud case in the US was recently delayed due to complications that arose with the judge concerning a past history with asbestosis in his immediate family. The original award that was given totaled $322 million, Bloomberg reported.


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