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Approximately 1% of all men in the UK suffer from an asbestos related disease which also affects many women who may have had secondary contact whilst never actually working directly with asbestos. The majority of victims have benign diseases such as pleural plaques or thickening of the lining of the lung however exposure to asbestos fibres can also cause more serious diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer all of which can be fatal. Exposure to asbestos fibres is inevitably due to negligence by an employer which can result in an asbestos related disease solicitor issuing legal proceedings for compensation. If you have had a recent diagnosis of asbestosis, mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer you should take immediate and urgent advice from an asbestos related disease solicitor.


    This is an asbestos related disease and a malignant mesothelioma tumour can develop as a result of even very low levels of exposure to asbestos fibres. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lung whilst peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. This asbestos related disease is sub-divided into three types which are "epitheloid", "sarcomatoid" (also called fibrous) and "mixed" (also called biphasic).

    Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose due to the fact that many different cells are capable of developing into mesothelioma which include clear cells, small cells, acinar cells and tubopapillary cells. This asbestos cancer is difficult to treat although surgery may be considered however heart and lung function can be compromised by the condition precluding surgical intervention.


    This condition is an asbestos related disease and is caused by fibres of asbestos becoming lodged in the lungs eventually causing a build up of scar tissue which restricts oxygen capacity thereby placing the heart and lungs under constant strain. Severity of the symptoms is variable however extreme cases may be fatal due to respiratory failure.

    Diffuse Pleural Thickening

    Pleural plaques, which is usually symptom free, is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and is patchy, isolated scarring of the protective membranes that surround the lungs. If there is a large area of scarring it is called "diffuse pleural thickening" which is often associated with breathlessness and can ultimately cause respiratory failure. Both of these conditions are indicative of dangerous exposure to asbestos which can lead to mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer.

    Lung Cancer

    Apart from mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plaques and diffuse pleural thickening there are a number of other health risks associated with exposure to asbestos fibres including massively increased risk of developing lung cancer particularly for those who smoke cigarettes or who have worked in a different type of contaminated atmosphere or environment.

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Asbestos Related Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis

Diagnosis of an asbestos related disease is made on the basis of clinical evidence in conjunction with X-rays and/or biopsy following a history of serious exposure. Almost everyone is exposed to these fibres during their lifetime however it is now widely recognized that more than very minor exposure is necessary in order to develop an asbestos related disease. Symptoms usually develop slowly after exposure and in some cases exposure may have been decades previously. Breathlessness occurs first and progresses, often with little or no cough however the victim eventually becomes weak and distressed even when at rest. Exposure is linked to several serious conditions that give rise to asbestos claims including:

  • Mesothelioma - which is a cancer of the cells that make up the lining around the lungs or the abdominal organs.
  • Asbestosis - which is a scarring of the lung tissue that can lead to respiratory failure.
  • Pleural Disease - which is the formation of "plaques" on the lungs or thickening of the lung pleura.
  • Lung Cancer - which is more prevalent in cigarette smokers who suffer exposure.

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Legal Rights

Notwithstanding the fact that over 3,500 people die each year in the United Kingdom from illnesses related to exposure to asbestos, very few asbestos related disease solicitors are instructed to take legal action. The annual number of casualties is predicted to go on rising into the next decade and it is hoped that the public will become more aware of their legal rights to make an asbestos claim. Categories of occupation at particular risk include:

  • laggers
  • merchant navy seamen
  • refractory bricklayers
  • turbine/boiler operators in power stations
  • dockers
  • lab technicians
  • asbestos factory employees
  • building site and construction workers
  • aerospace workers
  • insulation engineers
  • boilermen

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High Risk

This product is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for over 150 years on a large commercial scale as a fire proofing and insulation material. It was used extensively as a building material for over 30 years starting in the 1950s however its use is now illegal in the construction or refurbishment of any premises. Undisturbed and in good condition there is little risk however if disturbed or damaged asbestos can become a danger to health as a result of fibres being released into the air. Some of this material has been removed however it is estimated that it is present in over half a million non-domestic premises amounting in total to many thousands of tonnes. Removal work will continue for the foreseeable future and those involved are now potentially at the highest risk, as are workers involved in the refurbishment, repair or maintenance of these buildings including plumbers, joiners and electricians.

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Asbestos Disease Solicitor

Our asbestos related disease solicitors have extensive experience of dealing with personal injury compensation claims. We operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. Our service is completely risk free. To speak to a lawyer without further obligation, just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts will telephone you with free advice.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0553


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