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MPs have signed off on the Mesothelioma Bill, which will provide a compensation package for sufferers of the eponymous lung disease Mesothelioma; often caused by long-term exposure to Asbestos materials.
The Bill passed through its report and third reading in the House of Commons yesterday, having previously been through the committee debates in both the House of Lords and House of Commons. It will now become enshrined in constitutional law.
Considered one of the workplace's biggest killers, Asbestos can still be found in many buildings across the UK, with the Trades Union Congress estimating that around 4,000 people a year die from Mesothelioma caused through Asbestos exposure.
Up to a quarter of a million people may have died as a result of working with the Asbestos; the organisation claims.
The Bill provides a Mesothelioma compensation payment scheme for victims unable to claim through the Courts because their employer has closed down and their liability insurance is no longer able to be utilised.
It will provide around 300 victims average sums of roughly £100,000, the Government explained.
However, some Mesothelioma campaigners have suggested the Bill does not go far enough in compensating people who have suffered serious ill-health since being exposed to Asbestos at work.
A law firm in Manchester wrote to MPs of all parties demanding fairer levels of compensation for victims, reports Mancunian Matters.
Geraldine Coombs, a specialist asbestos lawyer at the firm who has represented many victims, said: "It takes decades from the initial exposure to asbestos for symptoms of a related illness to appear, but once they do the consequences are devastating for those families affected."
"In some situations it is impossible to find evidence of victims' employers' insurance records where firms have ceased to exist many years ago and many asbestos victims will be left high and dry by the technicalities in the proposals."
The UK Asbestos Training Association recently revealed that as many as 75 per cent of the country's schools contain the material.
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