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Asbestos illness

Could my symptoms be asbestosis?

Asbestos was used for years in the UK and beyond as a cheap, effective building material. It was not known at the time that the tiny fibres which made up the asbestos sheets could cause illness and it wasn’t until many years or even decades later that the link between lung conditions and asbestos was made. Not every lung illness is caused by exposure to asbestos, and not everyone who has been exposed will become ill, but it is important to know the basic things to look out for.

Shortness of breath

The fibres in the asbestos and the dust can scar the lungs and over time this can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing while exerting yourself. Of course, there are many other conditions, such as asthma, which can cause similar symptoms so asbestos illness might not be the first thing the doctor considers.


Persistent coughs may also be asbestos illness related, but can also be as a result of smoking or infection. Only around 1,000 people per year are diagnosed with asbestos illness so it is comparatively rare. If you feel that your symptoms may be caused by past exposure, flag it up to your doctor. People who worked regularly with asbestos in occupations such as shipbuilding, on the railways or construction are most at risk.


There is no cure for asbestosis but there are things sufferers can do to stop their symptoms getting worse. The first is to stop smoking immediately and treatment with oxygen can help alleviate symptoms and give people a better quality of life. In many cases of asbestos illness, it develops very slowly, so a diagnosis of asbestosis does not necessarily mean a very shortened life expectancy.

What can I do about asbestos illness?

If you have been formally diagnosed with asbestosis or a related illness, then you could be in line for compensation. Benefits are available for those who are disabled as a result of their illness, and Accident Advice Helpline can help sufferers pursue a claim for compensation under a 1979 government Act. Working on a no win no fee basis, Accident Advice Helpline has a team of experts ready and waiting to advise you on any potential claim. Compensation is even available to families of those who have suffered previously from asbestosis and have already died, so speak to Accident Advice Helpline today to consider how best to proceed, from the point of view of both your health and your financial well being.