Asbestos Related Illnesses
Asbestos Related Illnesses
There are different illnesses and conditions that you can develop after being exposed to asbestos. The most common illnesses which remain compensatable are:-
* Pleural thickening
* Asbestos-related lung cancer
What is pleural thickening?
Pleural thickening can be casued by exposure to asbestos. The asbestos fibres can be inhaled through the mouth or nose into the lungs and find their way to the membrane surrounding the lungs. This can cause scarring and thickening. If these areas of thickening become widespread or cover large areas and being to cause respiratory difficulties the condition is generally known as diffused pleural thickening.
Pleural thickening can develop on one or both lungs and prevents the lungs from working correctly making the sufferer feel breathless. In some cases pleural thickening can be a painful and disabling condition by itself but it can also be a warning sign that the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos in the past which puts him at risk of developing more serious asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis or methothelioma.
What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is only one of the diseases which can be caused by exposure to asbestos and is often confused for other diseases. Asbestosis is a form of lung fibrosis caused by inhaling asbestos fibres which can irritate the lungs casusing scarring and thickening to the lung tissue. Asbestosis normally only affects people who have had high exposure over long periods of time for example laggers, industrial plumbers or demolition workers.
Asbestosis often puts the victim at a much greater risk of developing other respiratory problems including lung cancer. It therefore stands that the vast majority of sufferers diagnosed with asbestosis will have been exposed to high levels of asbestos dust and fibres during the course of their employment. If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis you may be able to make a compensation claim for this disease.
What is Asbestos-related lung cancer?
It is well known that lung cancer is commonly associated with smoking however, it can also be casued by inhaling asbestos dust. Someone who smokes is statistically far more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoker. However, statistics have proven that a person working with asbestos could be five time more likely to develop lung cancer than somebody who has not been exposed to asbestos.
It can normally take anywhere between 15-40 years. To make a successful claim you need to prove that you were exposed to asbestos by an employer in the past and that asbestos was the cause of the lung cancer rather than smoking. This can often be proven by medical investigations including x-rays and more sophisticated scans.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is normally of three types and can be found on either the abdomen, the heart or more commonly, the lungs.
There remains no cure for mesothelioma and after diagnosis victims may only have a short life expectancy. Mesothelioma is still considered to be a terminal illness. If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or a family member has been diagnosed you may be entitled to make a compensation claim and you should proceed without delay.
Unlike the other asbestos-related conditions, mesothelioma can develop after receiving only low levels of exposure and only over relatively short exposure periods. Cases in the past have proven that people have contracted Mesothelioma simply by living close to a factory which releases asbestos fibres or even washing work overalls belonging to other family members.