THE Machinists Union of the Metro de Madrid has confirmed that a fifth Metro worker has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer in Spain.
The heart-breaking news comes after the death of a third man on Friday, January 11, who sadly lost his life after developing pleural mesothelioma. This is an aggressive form of cancer that spreads across the protective lining of the lungs and is scientifically proven to be caused by inhaling toxic asbestos fibres.
Those who have either died or been diagnosed with mesothelioma worked at the Metro de Madrid, where the CCOO workers’ union have linked the cases to the individual’s exposure to the highly toxic material whilst being employed. For this reason, justice is now being demanded by the Unions due to the growing number of “retired colleagues from Metro de Madrid who are now being diagnosed with diseases related to asbestos.”
As reported by the union, a 66-year-old man had tested positive for malignant pleural mesothelioma. He had worked as an employee at the public entity for 40 years, retiring in 2014.
The union urges Metro de Madrid to recognise their responsibility over the deaths and diagnosis, and to take measures to protect those who will suffer the same fate. In 2018, 2 maintenance employees died from mesothelioma where a court ordered Metro de Madrid to pay the victims’ families €370,000 each.
The response of the Metro to the alarming number of fatalities has been heavily criticised by both the Machinists Union and the CCOO who state that more should be done to “find a solution and speak with the union as soon as possible so that more people do not have to wait years to find out they will suffer from the disease.”
Exposure to Asbestos fibres can pose serious dangers, resulting in genetic damage to the body’s cells which leads to mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. The microscopic fibres are particulalry dangerous as cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and can also lead to progressive lung disease.