Emmerdale the well know soap opera has a new story line which will be familiar to the thousands of people affected by mesothelioma.
The return Donna Windsor, played by Verity Rushworth, has revealed she has been diagnosed as suffering from mesothelioma of which she declared “ The hospital could monitor me – but there’s nothing they can do, really. It’s terminal.”
Unfortunately, there is poor public awareness of mesothelioma and the deadly consequences of exposure to asbestos not just in the workplace. The HSE believe there are currently over 500,000 commercial and public buildings with asbestos present, including schools. Incidences of secondary exposure where asbestos is passed from a father who was exposed at work, to his wife who washed his asbestos covered work clothes upon his return home, or to his child while hugging in contaminated work clothes are also rising.
Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.
Donna is only young, in her late 20’s and her profession as a police officer is not normally regarded as one where there is regular exposure to asbestos.
The Producers of Emmerdale should be praised for tackling a very emotive subject and helping to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure.