What is Asbestos and How to Claim Compensation
Asbestos is a mined mineral that occurs naturally. Asbestos can be defined by its colour, white (Chrysotile), blue (Crocidolite) and brown (Amosite). The reason why asbestos was extensively mined was due to its fire and chemical resistant properties, and also sound absorption.
Asbestos related disease is caused by inhaling or ingesting minute fibres, but most diseases are as a result of inhalation, causing damage to the lungs. Asbestos may be painted, making it relatively safe (it is sealed by the paint), but asbestos releases dust when chipped or broken.
Asbestos claims may arise where claimants have been exposed in power stations, factories, hospitals, blocks of flats, trains and ships, even hairdressers. Asbestos has been used in houses, gutters, down pipes, boilers and tanks; carpenters and painters may all have valid claims.
Asbestos was also used in ovens, commercial chip fryers, electric fires used in the home and a multitude of other applications. Workers had to cut asbestos for all of these applications.
Here are a small sample of jobs that can give rise to exposure to asbestos dust; laggers, dock and garage workers, joiners, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians, builders, plumbers, and heating engineers amongst others.
Types of Asbestos Diseases
Asbestos fibres can be dangerous to health if inhaled. The type, extent and duration of exposure to asbestos fibres will often determine the degree or nature of the disease. Any person who thinks they have been exposed to asbestos dust at work should seek medical and legal advice. Not all forms of asbestos will develop any symptoms. If a person has died, the estate, usually the widow, can make a claim for substantial compensation providing a claim is brought quickly.
Below are some forms of Asbestos related diseases:
Asbestosis is a more serious form of damage to the lungs. It is caused by inhaling a large amount of asbestos dust over a period of time. The asbestos fibres irritate and damage the lung. This damage can prevent the absorption of oxygen by the lung leading to breathlessness. First symptoms usually arise not less than 20 years following exposure. For further information on Asbestosis… Contact Us now.
- Symptoms – Can include breathlessness, persistent coughing, chest pain and restriction.. If you are diagnosed as suffering from asbestosis there is an increased risk of developing asbestos-related lung cancer or mesothelioma.
- Compensation – A mild form of asbestosis with little or no effect, £15,000 to significant breathlessness, coughing etc an award up to £60,000. A substantial amount of compensation can also be claimed for care and loss of earnings amongst other items.
If a person has been exposed to asbestos and has also smoked, there is a greater risk of developing lung cancer. It will usually take 20 years or more from being exposed to asbestos before the cancer develops. It is easier to claim compensation if there has already been a diagnosis of asbestosis as a person can develop lung cancer by smoking alone. However, if there has been high exposure to asbestos, specialist doctors believe this can cause lung cancer without first causing asbestosis. For further information on Lung Cancer… Contact Us now.
- Symptoms – Can include breathlessness, persistent coughing, chest pain and restriction and death.
- Compensation – For the cancer alone, an award can be made between £35,000 and £55,000. A substantial amount of compensation can also be claimed for care and loss of earnings amongst other items.
Mesothelioma is a cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos. It is usually a tumour of the pleura, which is the lining between the lung and the rib cage. It can affect other body parts. There is no connection between cigarette smoking and mesothelioma. There is usually a long delay between exposure to asbestos and symptoms, at least 20 years. Only small amounts of asbestos dust can cause mesothelioma. For further information on Mesothelioma… Contact Us now.
- Symptoms – Can include breathlessness, persistent coughing, chest pain and restriction and death. Chest pain can be caused by a build up of fluid which can be drained to relieve symptoms.
- Compensation –Range between £50,000 – £60,000. A substantial amount of compensation can also be claimed for care and loss of earnings amongst other items.
Further Reading on Asbestos & Mesothelioma Compensation Claims
Mesothelioma on Wikipedia