Asbestos Compensation

What is Asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a chronic fibrotic interstitial lung disease which is asbestos-induced. Unlike mesothelioma it is a non-cancerous condition, however sufferers may run the risk of developing mesothelioma in the future. Fibrosis is a scarring of the lung. Interstitial refers to the lung tissue itself. In asbestosis it is the lung tissue, not the airways, that is damaged. The scarring results from asbestos fibres penetrating the lung tissue and causing inflammation. When this process continues then further scarring results.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

The alveoli (air sacks), where oxygen exchange occurs and oxygen diffuses into the blood stream, become scarred, damaged and obliterated. The scarring or fibrotic change within the’ lung tissue causes the lungs to be stiff and hence it is more difficult to breathe and may be similar to other respiratory diseases. The lung becomes very inelastic; hence the lung does not exchange oxygen and C02 adequately because eventually the alveolar gas exchange units are markedly reduced in number and function. Dyspnoea or shortness of breath on exertion is one of the symptoms of asbestosis.

Fibrotic changes in the lungs can be associated with various causes other than asbestos such as silica dust, animal dust exposure, rheumatoid arthritis and many other causes. Exposure to silica dust, for instance arising from excavation work in rock with high silica content, can cause silicosis. Exposure to dusts from various birds can cause a fibrotic condition in the lung known as “birds fanciers’ lung”.
However, asbestosis refers exclusively to asbestos-induced fibrosis of the lung. Asbestosis is usually diffuse in that it is usually found throughout the lower sections of both of the lungs, and not isolated. The fibrosis associated with asbestosis is often roughly equal in both lungs. As the disease progresses, the upper lobes may be affected. Sufferers may run the risk of developing mesothelioma in the future.

How can we help?

If you are suffering from asbestosis, it is important to have a specialist doctor manage your treatment who is experienced in such cases. As the right treatment methods such as medication, nutrition as well as exercise if appropriate can improve the quality of life in a great deal.

Asbestos and Lung Cancer Risk

You have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Maybe you smoked, but did you ever consider that your lung cancer could have been caused by something else? The culprit could be asbestos, a deadly mineral that was once widely used in dozens of industries for most of the 20th century.
When asbestos was first introduced to the commercial market, it was celebrated for its resistance to fire, water, sound, and electricity. However, by the 1970s, asbestos was suspected of causing serious diseases like cancer.
Workers at the time did not realize that asbestos was dangerous. However, the companies who employed the workers actually knew this for years. They covered up the facts to keep making money.

Asbestos lung cancer is not your fault. You should not be denied treatment for something you could not prepare for in the first place. Companies who profited off of your illness should be held accountable for the damage they have done.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Overview

Lung cancer caused by asbestos has the same symptoms, treatment options, and prognoses as other forms of lung cancer. The only difference is that asbestos fibers are to blame instead of other risk factors.

Asbestos fibers are incredibly sharp, thin, and tiny. In fact, they are often invisible to the naked eye. When a product that contains asbestos is disturbed, the fibers enter the surrounding air. People nearby can inhale these fibers without knowing it.
Once the fibers are in the lungs, they can become embedded in healthy tissue, irritating and inflaming it in the process. Over several years and even decades, this damage may cause pain, scarring, and eventually lung cancer.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer are very similar to the symptoms of non-asbestos lung cancer. The long latency period of asbestos-related diseases means that the symptoms will start out mild and get worse over time before they are finally noticed.
Symptoms of asbestos lung cancer include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Phlegm
  • Shortness of breath and lack of oxygen

If you experience any of these symptoms for several weeks and they do not improve, you should see a doctor.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Diagnosis & Prognosis

Asbestos lung cancer is diagnosed through tests that include imaging scans and a biopsy. Imaging scans like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can look for tumors inside the lungs. The biopsy removes a tissue sample so doctors can test it for cancer.
An important part of the diagnosis process is telling your doctor about your asbestos exposure. This can help them rule out less-serious diseases and factor in asbestos-related diseases.

A prognosis will vary depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Generally speaking, a lung cancer prognosis is quite poor if the cancer has spread to other sites on the body.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Treatment

Asbestos lung cancer is typically treated through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Doctors will remove cancerous masses and administer treatments to surrounding areas.

It is important to seek medical treatment for lung cancer as soon as possible. Treatment can help prevent it from spreading to other sites. If the cancer spreads too far, surgery may not be an option. In these cases, palliative care can be used to keep the patient comfortable.
Medical expenses associated with treating lung cancer are very expensive. Health insurance may cover some of the cost, but it may not be enough to pay for all your expenses.

Are You Eligible for Compensation?

If your lung cancer was caused by asbestos exposure you may be eligible for compensation.
Anyone who worked where asbestos was used is at risk of asbestos lung cancer.

Jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure include:

  • Aerospace workers
  • Aircraft mechanics
  • Automotive technicians
  • Boilermakers
  • Cabinet makers
  • Carpenters
  • Coal miners
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Military veterans (especially the Navy)
  • Pipefitters
  • Plumbers
  • Power plant workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Shipyard workers and shipbuilders
  • Steamfitters
  • Welders

Even spouses and children put at risk through secondhand asbestos exposure. Workers who came home in asbestos-covered clothing did not realize they were putting their families at risk too.

Please contact us now if you would like to speak to a solicitor in confidence about making a claim for compensation.