Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Supporting Actions for Asbestos Victims

Yuuji Natori, Fuyushi Nagakura, Kazunori Uekusa, Toshio Hirano, Katsuyasu Iida and Masako Uchida
Mesothelioma Pneumoconiosis Asbestos Center, Japan

In 1987, 'Ban Asbestos Network Japan (BANJAN)' was founded to change the Government policies on asbestos. However, it couldn't help enough victims of asbestos nationwide due to a lack of full time staff.

Then, the 'Mesothelioma Pneumoconiosis Asbestos Center' was established in 2003. This 'Asbestos Center' started supporting victims in their demands, such as, for medical treatment and compensation. The 'Asbestos Center' also assists the 'Japan Association of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Disease Victims and their Families' which was founded in 2004.

From September 2003 to August 2004, we received 325 telephone calls, from all over Japan. One third of them were about protection against sprayed asbestos and asbestos containing construction materials. Another third concerned health check-ups for those who had been exposed to asbestos and about asbestosis.

The remaining calls (113 cases) were from patients with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer and their families. Among them, 36 clients asked for medical consultations and 77 wanted workers' compensation.

Among those 77 cases, 15 sufferers have already been compensated, 22 victims are under examination and 17 are preparing applications.

The remaining 23 cases included misdiagnosed cases, aborted consultation cases and environmental exposure cases. The environmental exposure cases are increasing so we are now starting to follow and examine those cases.