What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a long-term serious lung condition, caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a material which was widely used as an insulator and protection against fire before its poisonous properties became known. It is caused when the inhalation of asbestos fibres results in serious damage to the lungs, increasing the chances of developing a related cancer.
Those who have worked in industrial professions, including on shipyards, in boiler rooms, railways and construction are most at risk. However, the condition does not often appear until many years after exposure, sometimes more than 30 years. Recent research records 412 deaths in 2010 where asbestosis is likely to have contributed, compared to only 109 in 1978.
How do I know if I have got it?
It often results in symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Swollen fingers
If you have these symptoms and think you are at risk of asbestosis – from having worked in an at-risk industry or even through close contact with those who did – it is essential that you get checked out by a doctor, who will be able to tell you if you have the condition.
Can it be cured?
Unfortunately not. Because the damage has already been done to the lungs, asbestosis cannot be cured. However, in some sufferers, the condition will not progress as quickly as in others. Stopping smoking, taking antibiotics and beginning oxygen therapy can help minimise the symptoms.
How do I get compensation for asbestosis?
You can make a claim for compensation for asbestosis if it can be proved that your exposure to asbestos was someone else’s fault, usually your employer or former employer.
Accident Advice Helpline is a firm of solicitors who specialise in industrial diseases like asbestosis and give you the best possible chance of getting the compensation you deserve. We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if you don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything for our services. If we are unsuccessful in pursuing your claim, you lose nothing.
Our friendly, professional advisers can be reached via our 24 hours a day free phone line on 0800 689 0500 (from a mobile 0333 500 0993) and can help you decide whether an asbestosis compensation claim is the right thing for you.
Date Published: 2nd September 2013
Author: Jan Newell