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What is asbestos and can I claim for it in Belfast & Northern Ireland?

4 minute read

What is asbestos and can I claim for it in Northern Ireland?

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibres. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air, which are easily breathed into the lungs, they may then get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. 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.

Mesothelioma, asbestosis & pleural plaques

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. It can also cause other non-malignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques, pleural thickening and benign pleural effusions. 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.

Asbestos exposure at work and your right to claim in Belfast & Northern Ireland

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. If diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and you know the circumstances surrounding your exposure, you might be able to pursue compensation.

Industrial disease legal advice

It is important that you seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor experienced in asbestos litigation. 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.

Our asbestos claims solicitors can help

Asbestos solicitors need to spend a lot of time looking at the personal history of each case in order to piece together where the exposure occurred. Our personal injury department has a solid understanding and excellent success record in pursuing claims for asbestos-related diseases contracted through employment. You can learn more about our services at Asbestos Claims and Industrial Disease Claims or Contact Us for a free initial consultation.

By Tanya Waterworth


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