What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a long-term chronic lung condition that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos when intact does not in itself present a health risk. However, asbestos does become hazardous to health at the point that it is chipped, drilled, sanded, broken or allowed to deteriorate. The fine dust from disturbed asbestos contains asbestos fibres. When this dust is inhaled, the asbestos fibres enter the lungs and can gradually damage them over time. Asbestosis develops as a result of a prolonged high level of exposure to a high level of fibres.
The symptoms of asbestosis include:
- chest pain
- persistent cough
- shortness of breath
- swollen (clubbed) fingertips in very advanced cases.
Asbestosis takes around 10 years or more to develop and is as a result of heavy and prolonged exposure to asbestos. Occupations most at risk of developing asbestosis include demolition workers, laggers and plumbers. Those working in Shipyards & the MOD may also have been unnecessarily exposed. Whilst asbestosis is classified as a chronic rather than a fatal disease it is a very serious condition that can lead to death due to associated problems such as respiratory or cardiac failure.
Other asbestos related diseases
Individuals with asbestosis have a higher risk of developing other serious health conditions including.
- Pleural disease. Pleural disease occurs where the pleura (the membrane that covers the lungs) becomes thicker. The thickening of the pleura results in further breathlessness and chest discomfort.
- Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the membrane that covers the lungs, ribcage, heart, abdomen and testicles.
- Lung cancer. If lung cancer develops in the presence of asbestosis it is generally understood that the cause of the lung cancer was as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Duty of care
In order to bring an asbestosis compensation claim it is necessary to establish that an individual’s exposure to asbestos was caused by the fault of another; be that an employer, a public organisation, a nearby factory or as a result of exposure in the home due to asbestos fibres being transported on another’s work clothes. Historically, many employers did not take adequate steps to warn or protect individuals against the risks of exposure to asbestos and as a consequence many have been harmed unnecessarily.
What if the business responsible is no longer trading?
Our team of Industrial and Occupational Disease lawyers have represented many individuals where the business responsible for the asbestos exposure is no longer trading. Our solicitors will look to trace the insurance in place at the time of exposure, restore the company and make a claim for compensation.
Time limit to make a claim
It is important to note that an individual has three years from the date of knowledge that the asbestosis diagnosis was caused as a result of another to bring a claim for compensation. If you have been diagnosed as having asbestosis it is possible to reserve the chance to seek further compensation in the future if you go on to develop a more serious illness.
If you or a loved one has suffered from asbestosis and would like to bring a claim for compensation please call our Industrial Disease solicitors for a FREE, no obligation chat on Freephone 0808 164 0808. Alternatively, you can complete the request a call back form and we will call you.