The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations come into force on 21 May 2004, but it is already too late for the estimated 10,000 Britons per year who are expected to die from asbestosrelated diseases within the next 25 years. Already, insurance firms are setting aside funds in anticipation of claims. Equitas, set up to reinsure Lloyds of London, has set aside £3.2 billion, while Royal Sun Alliance is reported to have asbestos reserves of £800 million.

While money cannot bring people back or end suffering, companies must be made to pay for the mass slaughter they have knowingly been complicit in causing. If you have worked where you could have been exposed to asbestos, or you know someone in this position, for further information and advice, you can contact the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, c/o GMHC, 23 Mount St, Manchester M4 4BE.

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