Humans have used asbestos for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Records of asbestos mines in Roman times show that man had discovered its many positive properties and attributes a very long time before its dangerous potential side effects were noticed. In the time following the Second World War asbestos became increasingly popular due to its incredible heat-resistant capabilities along with its comparatively low cost. Its use peaked in around the 1970s and by the 1980s the dangers associated with its use were starting to come to light. It has been banned as a building material in the UK since the year 2000, but it is still present in a huge range of buildings and products that were made before that time.
Why is it dangerous?
Left undisturbed, asbestos is unlikely to cause any issues. It is when it is broken up that it has the potential to release its tiny fibres into the atmosphere where they can be breathed in by anyone nearby. The trouble with the fibres is that they are so small they can get into the lining of the lung where they settle, although it can take many years for the damage they can do to be noticed.
Who is at risk?
There is a variety of occupations where the likelihood of being exposed to asbestos fibres during the course of employment is highest. These include:
- Plumber and builders
- Metal Workers
- Heating and refrigeration engineers
- Shipyard workers
- Insulation workers
- Demolition workers
Anyone who has been exposed asbestos fibres is potentially at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
What diseases can it cause?
The most common asbestos related diseases are as follows:
- Asbestosis – serious scarring of the lungs
- Mesothelioma – attacks the lining of the lungs and the lower digestive tract
- Asbestos-related Lung Cancer – similar to that caused by excessive smoking
- Pleural Thickening – thickening of the lining of the lung causing difficulty breathing
What if I have been exposed to asbestos?
If you or someone you care for has been exposed to asbestos as a part of their working life, or even as a member of the public, you could make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors are on hand now, free of charge to assist you with your questions and see if you are eligible to make a claim. There is no obligation to continue with a claim if you do not wish to do so. Contact us today and let us help you get the pay out you deserve.