Asbestos-related cancer has claimed the lives of more than 150 people in North Ayrshire over almost four decades, new figures reveal.

MPs have launched an inquiry into how the material is being managed across the UK after serious safety concerns were raised.

Health and Safety Executive data shows the disease was responsible for 171 deaths in North Ayrshire between 1981 and 2019 – the latest available figures.

Of those, 22 occurred between 2015 and 2019 – 15 fewer than in 2010-14.

The Work and Pensions Committee, which launched the inquiry, said that despite the importation, supply and use of asbestos being banned in the UK since 1999, it remains the largest single cause of work-related fatalities.