Asbestos is a set of non-corrosive, naturally-occurring minerals. This material has been used in a range of industries, including the building and construction industries, where it has been used it to strengthen cement, and the shipbuilding industry, where it has been used to insulate boilers and pipes.
What about health hazards and asbestos?
You may have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace, in the community or at home. If products containing this material are disturbed in some way, tiny fibres are released into the air where they can be breathed in. When they enter your lungs, these may become trapped and remain there for a long time. Over time, the fibres in your lungs accumulate and cause considerable scarring and inflammation, which can lead to health problems.
Studies have shown that asbestos is a carcinogen — a cancer-causing substance that may increase your risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that affects the thin membranes that line your chest and stomach).
Who is at risk of developing a disease?
You may become ill from asbestos if you have been exposed to it on a regular basis through your working environment. If you have been heavily exposed to the fibres, your relatives may also be at an increased risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
How do doctors diagnose asbestos-related diseases?
The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may not make themselves apparent until decades after your exposure. You must therefore consult with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath;
- A persistent cough;
- Blood in your sputum;
- Pain or tightening in your chest;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Loss of appetite; and
- Weight loss.
A thorough physical examination, including a chest X-ray, may be required to detect the presence of asbestos-related diseases.
Can I claim compensation for the health hazards and asbestos risk?
At Accident Advice Helpline, we understand that an asbestos-related disease diagnosis can leave you feeling worried for your future. Our expert solicitors have the qualifications and experience to handle your compensation claim and they will seek the maximum possible compensation on a 100% no win no fee basis.
To talk to our professional advisors, call our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 at any time of the day or night, or use our 30-second compensation calculator to find out whether you are entitled to make a claim.