Materials containing asbestos were extensively used in industry and in construction during the last century. Exposure to asbestos takes place when airborne asbestos dust or fibres are breathed into the lungs. Asbestos can become airborne in a variety of ways, the most common being the release of asbestos dust during manufacturing or construction processes or the disturbance of asbestos present in the fabric of buildings.
Exposure to all types of asbestos is dangerous, and can lead to the development of one of the types of asbestos-related illness. Those are:
This is not a serious condition. Plaques are benign scarring of the lungs, visible on x-ray but which do not cause any pain or disability. This is by far the most common form of asbestos-related disease. In England and Wales, compensation cannot be claimed for Pleural Plaques
Pleural Thickening/Diffuse Pleural Thickening
This is damage to the pleura at the base of the lungs. It normally follows an episode of pleural effusion, caused by the presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs. The condition does not always result in respiratory disability, but if it does then compensation can be claimed.
This is fibrosis of the lung airways caused by the presence of asbestos fibres. Ordinarily, quite heavy and sustained asbestosis exposure is required to cause asbestosis. The condition normally causes some respiratory disability. If such disability is present, then compensation can be claimed.
This is a form of cancer that is generally accepted to be always attributable to asbestos exposure. It usually affects the pleura of the lungs, but it can also affect the abdomen and, rarely, the heart and scrotum. The tumour is often hard to diagnosis initially, and it is extremely difficult to effectively treat. Very low levels of exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of mesothelioma many years later. Compensation can be claimed for mesothelioma and awards of damages made for the condition are often significant.
Cancer in the airways of the lungs can be caused by a combination of cigarette smoke and the presence of asbestos fibres. A high and sustained level of asbestos exposure is generally required before a lung tumour can be attributed to asbestos. If such exposure can be established, compensation can be claimed and awards made are often significant.
Normally, there is a long time-lag between asbestos exposure and the development of one of the types of asbestos illness. That time-lag can be many, many years.
If you think you may be suffering from a compensatable asbestos-related disease, then please call on 01942 402475 for completely free and no obligation consultation. Alternatively, complete and email our attached industrial disease enquiry form.
We provide a free initial advice service. We deal with the cases we accept on a No Win No Fee basis.