Years Robbed of Their Life

Although Julian had not been working for 15 years and he had passed that time without breathing asbestos fibers, he died due to those microscopic particles. The cause of his death was mesothelioma, a strange kind of cancer that affects the lungs.

This disease is triggered by contact with asbestos. A scientific study published in the British Journal of Cancer, predicts that mesothelioma will kill 250.000 Europeans in the next 33 years.

Fulgencio Soria, Julian’s workmate in a factory in Levante, was in contact with this mineral almost since he was born. But it was not until he was 37 years old when he realized the gravity of the situation. Soria was made redundant because of his disease and he was declared invalid for work. He was left with a pension that proved insufficient to satisfy his family needs.

In 1991, another worker called Gines Palazón, started spitting blood out of his mouth, 12 months later he died of lung cancer.

Asbestos particles are near us in everyday life. It can be found in the brakes of cars, buses and trains, in hair dryers and ironing boards, in water or gas pipes, in the roof, in the ground and in the walls.

Today, Soria is 47 years old and without doubt he affirms, “We have been killed.”

“We have been robbed of 10 years of life,” declares Francisco Martinez, another of Soria’s workmates and now President of the Asbestos Victims Association. This organization is the only one of the kinds in Argentina.

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