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With £millions of compensation achieved for our clients over the the few years (see the counter on the right hand side), you are in the right hands to get you the maximum settlement for your asbestosis claim.
If you have been exposed to this substance and wish to make an Asbestos claim against a previous employer then please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment and one of our legal professionals will call you back at a time that is convenient to discuss your claim.
Asbestosis is the scarring or fibrosis of the tissue of the lungs after inhaling asbestos fibres. This scarring causes breathlessness and can lead to tumours, which can be fatal. What is quite interesting about this illness is that the symptoms do not tend to surface for at least 10 years up to 50 or 60 years after the person has been exposed to the asbestos.
If you have been exposed to this substance and wish to make an Asbestos claim against a previous employer then please get in touch today to discuss your claim. If you would prefer, please complete our 30-second form and one of our legal professionals will call you back at a time that is convenient to discuss your claim.
- There is a 10% chance of you developing mesothelioma if you have asbestosis
- There is a 20% – 50% chance of you developing lung cancer if you have asbestosis
- Asbestosis is not a cancer although it can lead to this
- Approximately 125million people in the world are still being exposed to asbestos. Given what has been known for over many decades now, this is quite a staggering number.
- Canada and the United States; two of the worlds largest economies, have still not banned asbestos.
- There are 6 different types of Asbestos but the below 3 are the most commonly found:
- Chrysotile (white asbestos) – originally made in Canada, banned in the UK in 1999 but accounts for 95% of Asbestos exposure today.
- Amosite (brown Asbestos) – name inherited from the word AMOSA – Asbestos Mines Of South America, banned in UK in 1983.
- Crocidolite (blue Asbestos) – From Africa and Australia and widely considered the most dangerous form of Asbestos. Banned in the UK in 1983.
Types of Asbestos Related Disease
There are many different types of asbestos related illnesses that can surface, often with only subtle differences between them. The below helps to define the symptoms of each individual type of illness:
- Pleural Plaques – This is the scarring of the outer lining of the lungs. Under UK Law, since 2007, pleural plaques claims cannot be made but please get in contact if you believe you have it as we can keep you informed of any changes in the law along with assisting with any further complications arising from your condition
- Pleural Thickening – also known, as diffuse pleural thickening is the next stage on from pleural plaques. This is where the scarring (or pockets of plaques) on the lungs has spread enough to hamper breathing.
- Mesothelioma – people with mesothelioma are deemed to have a terminal illness. The cells that the cancer attacks are the mesothelial cells, which are the outermost lining cells that surround the bodies internal organs including the lungs, the heart and the abdomen.
- Lung Cancer – it is now possible to claim for asbestos related lung cancer, even if you smoke. The substance is so lethal, that if you can prove you were exposed to it during your working career then the insurance firm that insured your company is liable for damages. This clarification was only brought about in the early stages of 2012 and whilst it was not the most favourable outcome for the insurance companies, they are quite happy for the clarification.
What causes Asbestosis related disease?
Many industries saw a huge spike in the use of Asbestos related products after the Second World War. Its flexible nature, along with its natural fire resistant and insulating qualities saw many industries adopt it as a staple material, which is why so many people were exposed to it.
What people did not know at the time is the dust fibres it emits are unable to be broken down by the lungs and what is known as ‘fibrosis’ occurs. This is the scarring of the alveoli of the lungs, which is used in the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide in breathing. People who have this fibrosis get short of breath and the resultant medical term Asbestosis was thus formed.
What occupations were most exposed to Asbestos?
The use of Asbestos was vast but typically we have people coming to us to make an asbestos claim for the following types of occupation:
- Ship building or repair
- Dockworkers – we have had many Plymouth dockworkers successfully claim through Russell Worth for Asbestosis.
- Boiler makers and insulators
- Construction workers
- Floor fitters
- Brick layers
- Floor layers
- Sheet metal workers
- Aerospace engineers
- Lab techs
- Coal miners
- Tile layers
- Iron workers
- Steam fitters
- Car mechanics
It does not stop there however, people who have simply worked in older buildings that have been constructed using asbestos related materials are at risk, as are people who live with any of the above types of worker. A famous case recently saw the daughter of a man who worked with asbestos in the 60’s win a case for compensation against his employers because of the fact that he used to come home and the particles from his clothing became airborne in the house. She has now contracted an asbestos related illness. The substance really is quite insidious!
Diagnosis of Asbestosis
Because there are many different types of asbestos related disease as described above, it is a process of elimination when it comes to diagnosing Asbestosis.
Firstly you will be referred to a lung disease specialist who will be able to test for scarring which will be done in one or a combination of the following methods:
- Stethoscope – listening for crackles in the patients breathing
- X-Ray – to see if there are any structural abnormalities to the lungs
- CT Scan – This provides a much more detailed picture of the lungs right down to the lining of the lungs where early signs of asbestosis related symptoms can be seen.
- Lung function testing
- See what the capacity of the lungs is and whether there is any abnormality in this.
- Inspect how well the air flows into and out of the lungs
- Test to see how well the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide is taking place in the membrane of the lungs.
If any of the above readings are lower than expected this could be indicative of an asbestosis related illness.
- Biopsy – Sometimes a small amount of lung tissue will be sampled and sent off to the lab for testing.
There is the obvious look into the patients past that needs to be conducted when diagnosing– can they or their old work colleagues ever remember any exposure to asbestos? If so, details of this and the people involved should be passed onto us so we can start to build the case for asbestosis compensation.
Symptoms of Asbestosis
People with Asbestosis will often show the following physical symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Inability or reduced ability to exercise
- Pain in the chest
Treatment for Asbestosis
As it stands, there is no cure for Asbestosis related illnesses such as pleural plaques, mesothelioma or lung cancer, although there are certain steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms as best you can.
STOP SMOKING IMMEDIATELY – this is a very obvious point but one which needs to be said. Smoking makes the symptoms of asbestosis a lot worse so do yourself a favour and give up.
Vaccinations – due to the increased vulnerability of your lungs to infection, it is advised that you take the vaccinations for both influenza and pneumonia, as these could prove quite fatal if contracted alongside an asbestosis illness.
Oxygen therapy – in acute cases of asbestosis your body may not be getting the oxygen it needs to function. In this instance you may be given the use of an oxygen concentrator, which helps you get the intake you need.
Medicine – again, in severe cases, it may be beneficial to offer the patient a medicine such as morphine, which will help reduce breathlessness and stop the urge to cough.
Making an Asbestosis Claim
Here at Russell Worth we understand the impact that this may have had on your life. In its worst form it can be an extremely debilitating illness, an illness that can be fatal, and often one, which was not your fault. We will work with you to build a case against the employers who exposed you to this substance. We understand that making claims is not the nicest thing you can do but please be assured that this was not your fault and your employer should have had insurance in place to cover themselves against this sort of accident.
For more information, please take a look at the NHS website.
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