Asbestos has been valued by UK industry for over a century, as it is strong and heat resistant. It has been used for many different purposes, but is most commonly found in construction, building materials and heating and insulation
It has been known for a long time that asbestos was dangerous to human health. Workers who had handled asbestos began falling ill and some died from their disease. A number of landmark court cases established that asbestos was hazardous and that many workers suffering with asbestos diseases were victims of negligence.
There are a range of asbestos diseases, but most affect the respiratory system. This is because asbestos fibres are dangerous when they are inhaled. The lungs and lower digestive are most at risk.
When breathed in, tiny strands of asbestos can embed into the lungs. Over time, this can result in serious health complications.
Asbestos disease does not develop overnight. Most people who have been exposed to dangerous asbestos begin to suffer their first noticeable symptoms of illness decades later.
The people most at risk from asbestos disease are workers who directly handled asbestos as part of their role. In recent decades the danger of secondary asbestos exposure has been proven as a risk to public health. Medical research proved that people who have not worked directly with asbestos, but in buildings containing the substance or who had contact with people who did, are also at serious risk from long term health problems because of exposure to asbestos.
Most asbestos diseases affect the lungs and respiratory system – so the most common health problems caused by asbestos relate to breathing difficulties.
Asbestosis is a common disorder caused by exposure to asbestos It can have a serious impact on a sufferers breathing, and can leave people with limited mobility – as well as at risk from other asbestos diseases.
Asbestos exposure can cause physical changes in the lungs, for example the hardening and thickening of the lung linings – also known as pleural thickening. This can dramatically reduce the lungs ability to expand and take in adequate oxygen, which can cause multiple health complication for sufferers.
Pleural plaques- smaller areas of lung damage can also develop, and may mean that someone is at greater risk of more serious problems to come, most notably asbestos cancer.
The potential of asbestos to cause cancer in humans is the health hazard most often in the headlines. Asbestos has been linked to several cancers, but the most common is mesothelioma (cancer of the lung membrane).
Lung cancer of any description is difficult to treat and has poor survival rates. Although modern medicine has dramatically increased the treatment options for people with asbestos lung cancer, the disabling symptoms and suffering caused by this kind of asbestos disease has left people demanding compensation.
At Macks Solicitors, we are committed to giving high quality advice to victims of asbestos injury. Our informational articles on asbestos related illness give you the facts about causes, signs and symptoms and treatment options for asbestos diseases. We also give expert legal advice about the simple steps to claim asbestos compensation.
If you suspect you or a loved on may be suffering with an illness caused by exposure to asbestos, then you should seek urgent medical advice. Early diagnosis can improve the chances of successful treatment and can prevent further health complications arising.
What is pleural thickening? Pleural thickening is a disease that affects the lungs. There are a number of possible reasons for pleural thickening, including injury, TB and certain prescription medications, but exposure to asbestos is a leading cause. In itself, pleural thickening ...
What is secondary asbestos exposure? Legal and medical professionals have for a long time recognised asbestos as a hazardous substance that can cause a wide range of health complaints. At first, most asbestos compensation claims were made by workers who had worked ...