AN Urmston woman whose husband died of mesothelioma has been taking part in a commemoration along with other victims' families.

The event For Action Mesothelioma Day (July 7), in Manchester's Sackville Gardens, included widow Elaine Haskins and Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green, who released doves in memory of all those who have died from the disease.

Exposure to asbestos triggers mesothelioma, which results in a hardening of the muscles in the lungs and abdomen until the sufferer can no longer breathe.

It is a quickly fatal disease, there is no cure and almost all victims die within three years of diagnosis, most within just a few months.

Ms Green has campaigned to help the families of the victims of mesothelioma receive more compensation and has frequently raised the issue in parliament.

Approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, and many victims live in former industrial areas such as Manchester, Liverpool and the North East.

Elaine said, "I lost my husband Hugh to mesothelioma he contracted from working with asbestos. I don't want other families to suffer what we've been through; there must never be shortcuts when it comes to health and safety.

“People think no-one uses asbestos now, but it's still present in many buildings. I want honesty from the government about where it's been used, and tough laws to protect people from exposure to it."

Ms Green added: "It’s outrageous that so many people who die of this cruel and terrible disease do so because of exposure to asbestos simply from going out to work to support their families.

“These people deserve fair compensation, and more investment in research to find a cure. I pledge to do all I can to keep the spotlight on these matters in parliament, and demand action to give them justice.”