Asbestos – have you been affected?
Asbestos was used widely in the past as an insulating product. It was used extensively in the shipyard, in power stations and in a number of factories and schools.
If products containing asbestos are disturbed tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air. These fibres are easily breathed into the lungs, they may get trapped there and may remain there for many years. Over time these fibres can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems. Almost any degree of exposure to asbestos fibres carries with it a risk of contracting an asbestos related disease.
Asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer). Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen). Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure.
Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis (an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage) and other non-malignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques (changes in the membranes surrounding the lung), pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions (abnormal collections of fluid between the thin layers of tissue lining the lungs and the wall of the chest cavity). Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk of lung cancer.
Individuals who have been exposed (or suspect they have been exposed) to asbestos either through employment, or at home through secondary exposure from a family member should inform their GP and report any symptoms. Even if the exposure was decades ago and your previous employer is no longer in business, you should not be deterred from starting a claim for personal injury damages against your former employer as often it is still possible to trace the company and its insurers.
It is important that you seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor experienced in Asbestos Litigation. Tanya Waterworth of MTB Solicitors has over 10 years of experience in handling asbestos related personal injury cases and is best placed to advise you on the way forward. Please call us on 02890 329801 for a free initial consultation.
You deserve to be properly compensated if you have an asbestos related illness and we at MTB will do all we can to help you achieve the best possible result.