Asbestos Suspected Culprit in Rash of Neighborhood Deaths

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A cluster of cancer cases appearing on a United Kingdom cul-de-sac has some residents suspecting that asbestos contamination may be to blame.

In the last decade alone, 16 people and several pets have died in 80 homes on Mickle Way, dubbed the “street of death.” This is a cul-de-sac of public housing in the village of Forest Hill outside of Oxford, says the U.K-based Daily Express. Two people have recovered from their cancer.

Residents are calling for an urgent investigation into the problem before more residents fall ill. “It is the strangest thing,” said one resident, whose wife died of cancer recently. “You might expect three or four people but not 18. It is like this street is cursed.” The national cancer rate in Britain is about five cases for every 1,000 people, said the article.

The Mickle Way housing was built in the 1930s, when asbestos was heavily used in building materials. In the houses at Forest Hill, asbestos is present in concrete slab walls and in pipe lagging. In the early nineties, in response to residents’ complaints about heating costs, the housing authority replaced the asbestos walls with cinder blocks and bricks.

But some residents claims that the asbestos-containing debris was not safely removed. Instead, it was buried in back gardens to save on removal costs. “I don’t know if all the cancer cases are being caused by asbestos,” said the widower. “There must be something in the ground or the water. It needs to be investigated.”

The local housing authority is investigating the issue, and has ordered a company to take a soil sample.

Exposure to asbestos causes a variety of illnesses, including asbestosis and the following cancers: mesothelioma, lung, esophageal, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and developed an asbestos-related condition, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call the experienced asbestos attorneys at Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today.