On 24th August 2019, the 20th anniversary of the British ban on asbestos passed without comment. However, asbestosis compensation in the UK is still a very relevant concern. The substance asbestos has been the cause of the country’s worst-ever occupational epidemic and kills thousands every year. The death of a man in Stonehouse in March of 2019 was suspected to have been due to him playing in a factory’s asbestos dust as a child, whilst a terminally ill woman from Dagenham has won a court case after she contracted cancer from washing her husband’s overalls.These are extreme cases, but the long-term lung condition asbestosis is also incredibly unpleasant.
What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a long-term lung condition that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres at work. Whilst it won’t always lead to cancer, asbestosis majorly increases the probability that you will develop a cancer that is linked to your prior inhalation of the dangerous substance. There is also unfortunately no way to reverse the damage of asbestosis and there is currently no known cure for the condition. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Crackling sounds when breathing in and out
- High blood pressure
- Swollen fingers
- Significant weight loss
These symptoms can, in some cases, only show up years after the initial exposure to the fibres. Many of its warning signs are mistakenly associated with other respiratory problems, so it is worth considering if you have been exposed to any asbestos in your lifetime.
Industries that are linked with asbestosis
- Ship building
- Painting and decorating
- Building Surveying
- Gas fitting
- Fire fighting
However, this list is not limited and there is every chance that you may have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos in other ways. You may still be able to claim compensation and should contact anindustrial disease solicitor if you think that this has happened to you.
How can I claim compensation?
If you believe that you may be suffering from symptoms of asbestosis, and that you are affected from workplace negligence then you may be eligible for claiming compensation. Your employer is legally required to provide protection from the dangers of asbestos, and if they have failed then it could have serious legal implications.
Treatment for asbestosis
Whilst there is not a cure, some treatments that may help the symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Oxygen therapy –
Breathing in oxygen-rich air from a machine or a tank can help improve the breathlessness that you may experience if your blood oxygen levels are low
- Pulmonary rehabilitation –
This is a programme of exercise sessions, discussions and advice about how you can best manage your symptoms.
The NHS has also outlined that it is very important that you
- Stop smoking if you smoke, because symptoms can be worse in those who smoke, as well as smoking increasing the risk of lung cancer
- Visit your GP to have the flu vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination because your lungs will be a lot more vulnerable to infections like flu and pneumonia
If you have asbestosis, you will also be at a higher risk of developing something known as pleural disease, which is a thickening of the lining the covers the lungs. This is known as the pleura. Asbestosis is an unpleasant lung condition to live with, and you may be eligible for compensation.