Asbestos is responsible for over 4500 deaths every year. Younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers. This is due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms after exposure to asbestos. Exposure to asbestos can cause four main diseases:
- Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the lungs; it is always fatal and is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos)
- Asbestos-related lung cancer (which is almost always fatal)
- Asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs which is not always fatal but can be a very debilitating disease, greatly affecting quality of life)
- Diffuse pleural thickening (a thickening of the membrane surrounding the lungs which can restrict lung expansion leading to breathlessness.)
It can take anywhere between 15-60 years for any symptoms to develop after exposure, so these diseases will not affect you immediately but may do later in life.
The majority of the current fatal cases from asbestos exposure (approximately 4000 deaths per year) are associated with very high exposures from past industrial processes and installation of asbestos products.
People who regularly came across asbestos as part of their job were:
- Thermal insulation engineers
- Ship yard workers
- Asbestos manufacturing workers
- Women who assembled gas masks during the war
- Building workers
- Gas fitters
- Painters and decorators
If you or a relative have been exposed to Asbestos or if you are a family member living with those exposed to Asbestos, you may have a right to compensation. Contact Us now for free, initial advice on 0151 431 0548 or 0800 011 2757.