This paper outlines the asbestos hazard in Scotland and draws upon a systematic oral history project to analyze from the workers' perspective the nature of exposure, the limitations of government regulatory initiatives, and the ramifications of contracting asbestos-related diseases for sufferers and their families. Current issues are investigated, stressing the agency of workers, trade unions, sympathetic local councils, and, especially, the victims' pressure groups. The occupational and environmental health threats of asbestos in Scotland remain significant, although recent E.U.- and U.K.-based decisions to ban further use of asbestos together with active campaigning by local activist groups have helped to reduce them. Mesothelioma mortality rates remain high, due to historic exposures, and much work remains to be done to reduce the number and plight of asbestos-exposed workers.
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