The campain for a memorial to the men and women who died due to the Cape Asbestos factory is gathering pace.

Members of the Barking and Dagenham Asbestos Victims’ Support Group, (BAD Asbestos) handed in a 140-name petition to the council last week.

They hope to see a plaque unveiled near the site of the plant, which stood in Harts Lane, Barking, from 1913 until 1968.

It is not known exactly how many deaths that working with asbestos at the factory has caused, but figures are thought to run into the hundreds.

They include not just shop-floor workers, but also office staff, and the wives and families of employees who breathed dust from their work clothes, and those people who lived in close proximity to the site.

Because Mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by asbestos exposure, can lie dormant for decades, some cases are still being blamed on the plant, even though it closed 39 years ago.

Mick Connolly of BAD Asbestos told the POST: “The Cape factory has left a legacy of serious disease in this borough.

“But it’s not just those who worked with the fibers who have fallen ill; their families, residents nearby, and those people who worked in the area – many of these have also been affected.

“This memorial is designed to make sure that we don’t forget the consequences of bad health and safety practices in the work place.”

The POST joined campaigners on the streets of Barking last year to help collect names towards the petition.

Now that it has been submitted to the council, it will go before the Assembly for consideration.

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