Councillor’s appeal on action day to highlight issue of ‘working man’s cancer’

A Fife councillor is highlighting an action day to tackle a lung disease which led to the death of her father.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Julie MacDougall is backing Mesothelioma Day on July 7 to help raise awareness of the condition. She attended an All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting on behalf of the John MacDougall Mesothelioma Trust - set up in memory of her dad, who was an MP ands former leader of Fife Council - where she suggested the groups work together top strengthen its voice.

She recently met with Dianne Foster, manager from Asbestos Action and Tara Lillis, policy official from NASUWT to discuss asbestos related disease and how they must continue to raise awareness.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr MacDougall said: It was a very productive meeting. We discussed asbestos related disease, focussed a lot on Mesothelioma. The theme for this year’s action day is for people to light up buildings in blue in memory of those who have died from this awful disease or who may be affected in any way.

Julie MacDougall with her late father, JohnJulie MacDougall with her late father, John
Julie MacDougall with her late father, John

“I lost my own father to this in 2008 after a long battle so I know first-hand the devastation this cancer causes to people and their families. Its important to keep this high on our agenda for finding a cure - this was once known as the “working man’s cancer” but people are now realising there are so many ways in which they may have been exposed to asbestos”.

In Scotland there are around 200 deaths per year caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer affecting the linings of the lungs and abdomen. Asbestos was used for many years in buildings as it was a cheap alternative material. It was banned in 1999 but so many older buildings will contain it.

Cllr MacDougall added “It is not harmful if undisturbed, however it is important we have a plan for the removal and replacement of buildings which will contain as it exists in many places such as schools, universities, colleges, and hospitals, and that’s why it’s important we do all we can to ensure people are aware of the dangers this may have caused. It would be great if we can light up a building where possible to show support to all those who are affected by Mesothelioma. In terms of research and treatment it does not receive enough much-needed funding and indeed still sits as a low priority as a cancer.”