Asbestos illnesses are normally associated with the lungs but sometimes affect the heart and abdomen. Early symptoms typically involve breathlessness, chest pain, persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss and in some instances fluid around the lungs/abdomen, heavy sweating, hypertension and clubbed (swollen) finger tips.
Statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) indicate that asbestos-related illnesses account for the death of over 5000 workers each year which exceeds the number of people killed on our roads. The number of tradesmen dying every week from an asbestos illness is around 20.
Workers at greatest risk of developing an asbestos related disease include those who were routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time whilst working in various environments. Moderate to heavy exposure would normally be associated to conditions such as lung cancer or asbestosis whilst relatively less exposure can be the cause of mesothelioma, pleural thickening, pleural effusions or pleural plaques.
It can take up to 50 years, sometime longer, for an asbestos-related illness to develop, which often passes undetected until quite serious and debilitating symptoms are recognised many years later. Identifying symptoms early and undergoing investigation is key to any treatment particularly in the more serious cases of mesothelioma or lung cancer where early intervention and treatment can help to extend life.
Asbestos-related lung cancer appears the same as that which is caused through smoking and other causes and the Health and Safety Executive estimate for each mesothelioma death there is another caused through asbestos-related lung cancer.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) indicate that payments for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have increased in instances of asbestosis and remained constant in respect of pleural thickening.
Pause for a moment to reflect upon your entire working life, the companies you worked for, the specific duties you undertook handling or working close to asbestos materials, the personal protective equipment (PPE) provided or not as the case might have been and consider the questions below.
Q1. Have you been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres during the course of any former employment at least 10 years ago?
Q2. Do you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above which cannot be attributed to a known diagnosis?
Q3. Have you discussed your previous asbestos exposure with your GP?
Q4. Have you undergone any investigations, asbestos related or otherwise, in respect of your lungs and breathing within the last two years?
Q5. Have you been diagnosed with any lung complaint, asbestos-related or otherwise which might include, lung cancer, pleural plaques, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), folded lung, rounded atelectasis, pulmonary fibrosis or idiopathic pulmonary disease?
Q6. Have any of your former work colleagues been diagnosed with, or died, as a result of an asbestos-related illness?
Q7. If you were diagnosed with pleural plaques over 3 years ago have you had any ‘follow up’ examination or investigations?
If you have unanswered concerns for your general health particularly relating to asbestos exposure you should discuss these with your GP at the earliest opportunity. Your GP will be best placed to determine if you should have further medical investigations, which might include a chest x-ray or CT Scan which will confirm or exclude any asbestos illness.
If further investigations have already been made please call us today on FREEPHONE 0808 164 7740, email us to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an enquiry form. We will contact you shortly afterwards to discuss your situation and concerns.
Your solicitors can deal with your enquiry even if you were employed or exposed to asbestos in England, Ireland or Wales
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