ASBESTOS RELATED DISEASES

We are leading specialists in Asbestos Related Diseases.

Asbestos historically was a mineral used for its fire and heat resistance properties, however unfortunately it also can cause a range of diseases – asbestos related conditions can fall into a number of separate illnesses. Click on any of the panels below to discover more about each condition;

Asbestos Related Disease

Click on any of the panels below to discover more about each condition.

Mesothelioma

 

 

A type of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), although it can also affect the lining of the tummy (peritoneal mesothelioma), heart or testicles.More than 2600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK, usually in people aged 60-80 and men are more commonly affected than women.  It is rarely possible to cure mesothelioma.  The typical latency period from exposure to onset of symptoms is circa 35 years but can range from 10 to 60 or more.

Lung Cancer

The most common and serious type of cancer, with around 44,500 people diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. It is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 70-74.  Lung cancer can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy but survival rates can vary widely depending upon how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis.  Lung cancer is most commonly caused by smoking but can be caused by asbestos exposure alone, but smoking and asbestos have a synergistic effect and combine to increase the risk. The latency period is 10 years or more.

Asbestosis

Scarring or fibrosis of the lung resulting from inhalation of asbestos fibres.  Asbestosis generally requires a relatively large exposure (dose) over a long period of time.  Can be localised or diffuse throughout the lung tissue and can be fatal, but not generally so.  Asbestosis does not progress to mesothelioma, lung cancer or pleural thickening.  The latency period is usually 20 years from exposure.

Diffuse Pleural Thickening

Diffuse Pleural Thickening (DPT) or pleural thickening is a lung disease in which extensive scarring thickens the lining of the lungs (the pleura).  The condition may cause chest pain and breathing difficulty and it is one of the most commonly diagnosed signs of asbestos exposure.  DPT does not progress to mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that include emphysemachronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis.  COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle aged or older adults who smoke and the breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit normal activities.  People who have asbestosis may develop COPD as a complication but COPD of itself does not progress to mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis.

Pleural Plaques

Areas of fibrous thickening on the pleura and the outermost lining of the lungs or diaphragm.  The condition typically arises 20 – 30 years after asbestos exposure.  Pleural plaques are benign, meaning they are not cancerous and they do not cause any symptoms.  Due to this, pleural plaques is not properly termed a ‘disease’ and is not compensatable in England and Wales.

Atelectasis

A complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung – develops when the tiny air sacs (alveoli) within the lung become deflated.  Atelectasis is defined as an under inflation of the lungs upon inhalation.  It is a less common asbestos related condition that often accompanies pleural thickening.

Asbestos was banned in UK construction in the mid 1980’s but it is estimated that at least 50% of all asbestos ever used in the construction of buildings in the UK is still present.

Symptoms of an asbestos related disease include but are not limited to;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Chest tightness and pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Crackling sound when breathing

Medical attention should be sought immediately if you suspect you are suffering from an asbestos related disease. You could be suffering from an asbestos related disease from primary exposure, i.e. immediate exposure to asbestos via your occupation or even from secondary exposure, i.e. a wife washing husband’s overalls covered in asbestos.

People who have worked in particular industries are more likely to have been exposed to asbestos as follows;

  • Plumbers
  • Heating Engineers
  • Ship building workers
  • Aerospace workers
  • Car Manufacturers
  • Boiler Room Workers
  • Carpenters
  • Brake and clutch manufactures
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Demolition workers
  • Electricians
  • Firefighters
  • Merchant Navy seamen
  • Painters and Decorators
  • Laggers
  • Railway workers
  • Stevedores/Dock workers
  • Textile Mill workers
  • Welders
  • Refuse collectors
  • Panel beaters

Simcox Oliver Solicitors can offer help accessing rehabilitation and care services for those suffering from an asbestos related condition and can be contacted on 0161 804 8004, or send us a message using the form below.

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