Barrow has the highest death rate in England and Wales for asbestos cancer. Figures obtained by APIL show the death rate for mesothelioma between 2006 and 2010 was more than three times the national average.
The disease was recorded as the cause of 0.8% of deaths in the area. The national average during the same period was 0.25%.
APIL said many workers are often unable to pursue a claim for damages because they are unable to trace their former employers and have called on the government to provide support for retired workers.