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Asbestosis and mesothelioma

Help making a personal injury compensation claim

If you have contracted asbestosis, mesothelioma or another asbestos related illness which you believe is work related, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation.

What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a progressive, debilitating disease that leaves the sufferer breathless and unable to carry out everyday tasks.

Asbestosis develops after exposure to asbestos fibers is a disease that usually occurs in an individual who is exposed to working with asbestos in the course of their job.

Mesothelioma
Another rare but serious malignant disease, mesothelioma of the pleura, is often an asbestos related disease. In contrast to asbestosis which depends on the dosage of exposure to asbestos fibers, the malignant pleural tumour, mesothelioma, is not necessarily related to heavy exposure to asbestos fibres. It is fatal and is one of the biggest causes of work-related deaths in the UK.

How can The Claim Solicitors help?
The Claim Solicitors are leading personal injury solicitors in the UK and have won compensation claims for thousands of people who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Our approach is to provide a friendly and efficient service to make the process of claiming compensation as straightforward as possible.

We can act under a no win, no fee agreement which means that you can pursue your claim knowing that if you lose you will not have to pay us, or your opponent's solicitor's costs. In short, there is nothing to lose by pursuing a compensation claim with The Claim Solicitors, and everything to gain.

If you have sustained an asbestosis related illness that was not your fault and would like to make a claim for personal injury compensation or if you would like to discuss in confidence any matter related to a personal injury claim, please call our claim team on 0800 197 32 32 or complete the claim assessment opposite.

Other dust diseases

Asbestos, asbestosis, industrial illness claim Asbestos, asbestosis, industrial illness claim

How dust invades the lungs
A miner, digging into the rocky earth, may spend all his working hours with powdery dust swirling around him. Or a plant worker may perform a grinding operation in which a cloud of dust is released. Goggles may protect a person's eyes. But unless the nose and mouth and throat also are protected, some of the smallest particles of dust may work their way down to the tiny air sacs of the lungs.

The dust also gains access to the lungs' lymph channels and lymph nodes which form a line of defense for the lungs by removing the dust particles away from the lung tissue.

How do the lungs fight back?
Tiny hairs, called cilia, line the inner nose and act as a barrier, keeping out much of the dust. More cilia line the bronchial tubes (passages that bring air into the lung) - and over these cilia is spread a blanket of mucus, a sticky, slippery substance which we sometimes cough up.

This system works very well most of the time. But even nature's defense in unusual circumstances can fail. For instance, smoking slows and can eventually stop the movement of cilia

How does dust affect the lungs?
Different dusts affect the lungs in different ways and the difference lies in the dust itself. Where does it come from? What is it made of?

Different kinds of dust may affect the body in the following ways:

What are the symptoms?
It is often hard to predict the course of a dust disease. Some workers may suffer little from the disease - even in its most advanced stage - and eventually die of other causes. But other workers who breathe in harmful dusts over a long period of time may develop serious impairment of function.

At the beginning, there may be no symptoms. Shortness of breath is the first symptom. It usually begins some years after the beginning of exposure to harmful dust.

A cough comes next. With extensive scarring of the lung there may be chest pains. The dust deposits, which have slowed up the normal transfer of oxygen into the blood stream, may result in blueness of the lips and ear lobes, in late stages of the disease.

Complications - the development of other illnesses - are a serious threat to persons with a dust disease.

Tuberculosis is still a problem for silicosis patients, but less than years ago when tuberculosis was common. The quartz dust reacting in the lungs makes the silicotic worker more susceptible to TB.

Pneumonia, pulmonary heart disease and lung cancer are complications that often go with a dust disease. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are frequently seen in workers exposed to dust but these two diseases are really related to the cigarette smoking habit. In the asbestos worker, lung cancer is much more likely to occur in smokers, rather than non-smokers.

Treatment
Treatment for dust diseases is difficult.

Shortness of breath and coughing can often be helped. And infections such as tuberculosis or pneumonia can be treated with drugs. For emphysema a combination of medicines with regulated exercise may make breathing easier. Cessation of smoking will help the worker with bronchitis in particular.

How serious a dust disease is very often depends on how much dust is inhaled. Therefore, the best treatment obviously is to limit the exposure to the harmful dust.

A change of occupations may be important for younger men whose illness is in an early stage. On the other hand, men near retirement age may be told they can continue work if the amount of dust they breathe is reduced.

Whatever is to be done, a doctor can give advice after a complete study of the patient and his working conditions.

Prevention
The cost of dust disease in sickness and death, in broken families and broken hopes - let alone the money lost - has been very large.

There is, nevertheless, a great deal of hope. Over the past 15 or 20 years the dust level has been reduced in many jobs. Credit for this reduction must be shared by many - including management, labour, governmental and industrial commissions and workers.

Experts who have studied dust diseases believe that they can be prevented.

Each dust-producing job must be studied carefully - to decide the best method of protection. New industries, new materials, and new processes must be constantly checked to limit dust in the working environment to a minimum.

Sometimes the dust level can be reduced by such means as: adequate ventilation; use of face masks, the piping of clean air into a closed hood over the worker's head or removal of dust by suction as it is produced; the wetting down of materials before they are worked on. The switching from a harmful material to one that does not cause disease is an ideal to be achieved if possible.

In other cases, reducing the dust level can be extremely difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. That it can be done has been shown by the authorities concerned in the handling of plutonium. Methods have been found to effectively protect the workers from this dangerous substance.

How we can help you if you have asbestosis or mesothelioma
Call us now on 0800 197 32 32 for free legal advice and assistance making a claim for personal injury compensation if you have contracted asbestosis or mesothelioma. Our claims advice line is open 24 hours a day.