Despite the fact that the use of asbestos in construction was banned some years ago, every week 20 tradesmen in the UK die from asbestos-related disease. Because asbestos-related diseases are so slow to develop, it can be very difficult to realise you are being exposed before substantial damage has already been done.
Asbestosis: The hidden killer
Asbestosis is a chronic condition caused by long-term exposure to asbestos. It is caused particularly by the inhalation of asbestos fibres, which means that those working to break up asbestos in any capacity (as in the removal of asbestos-ridden walls and ceilings) are most at risk. The symptoms of the disease often don’t appear until as much as 15 to 30 years after onset, and when they do they manifest themselves as shortness of breath, cough, and swollen fingers. This is due to scarring on the lung tissue caused by the asbestos fibres themselves.
Those with asbestosis are at a much higher risk of developing lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pleural plaques. Smoking also increases the risk of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma even further in these patients.
While cases of asbestosis are decreasing, cases of lung cancer and mesothelioma due to asbestos-exposure are increasing. This is due to the fact that legislation was brought in over 40 years ago to prevent workers facing high asbestos exposure, but many people still faced low levels of exposure on a daily basis. While high levels of exposure create asbestosis, low levels of exposure can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma over a longer period of time.
What to do if you think you have become sick as a result of asbestos exposure
If you believe that your long-term condition was caused by exposure to asbestos, you may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation. Both asbestosis and mesothelioma can only be caused by regular exposure to asbestos. If you’d like to find out more about making an asbestos-related claim, contact Accident Advice Helpline. We exist to help victims of others’ negligence receive the compensation they are legally entitled to. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, and our claims are all conducted on a no win, no fee* basis. For some quick guidance, complete the 30-second test on Accident Advice Helpline website. This will give you a good idea of whether your claim is likely to be successful or not, and how much compensation you are likely to receive.
Date Published: November 17, 2013
Author: David Brown