The horrifying impact of asbestos is still being experienced by those unlucky enough to have come into contact with it. Even in 2020, many workers who worked in the dockyards of Plymouth in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, are now experiencing symptoms of asbestos-related diseases. Whilst ship building itself ceased in Plymouth during the seventies, the maintenance of ships that contain asbestos has led to problems for a number of workers. Asbestos compensation claims are still frequent, and not everyone is aware of the dangers of the material.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a material that was originally used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing. If it is left undisturbed, then it is not dangerous. However, if it is destroyed, then the dust that is produced can be deadly if inhaled. The damage that this causes to the lungs can also worsen over time.
If you have worked in a job that has involved being exposed to disturbed asbestos over a long period of time, then you will likely have a greater risk of developing an asbestos – related disease.
What industries put you most at risk?
In addition to ship building and working in a dockyard that contains asbestos, other job roles that can expose you to asbestos include:
- Asbestos mining
- General building work
- Electrical work
If you have worked in any of these industries or similar, it is important that you visit your doctor if you develop any of the symptoms of an asbestos-related disease.
What are some of the diseases that can be caused by asbestos inhalation?
There are a number of different diseases that can be caused by the substance asbestos. These include:
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural plaques
- Lung cancer
- Rounded atelectasis
- Diffuse pleural thickening
Some of the most severe symptoms of asbestosis can include:
- Extreme tiredness
- A persistent cough
- Swollen fingers
- A pain in the chest or in the shoulder
- Shortness of breath
If a doctor thinks that these symptoms may potentially be caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres, then they will refer them to a specialist for the following tests:
- A chest X-Ray
- A lung function test to check the capacity and correct functioning of the lungs
- A CT scan of your lungs
Although the condition of asbestosis cannot be reversed, some treatments are known to be able to ease some of the symptoms. These treatments include:
- Oxygen therapy, where you can breathe in oxygen-rich air from a tank.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation, a programme that is designed to teach exercises and ways in which someone can manage their condition.
Claiming either asbestosis or mesothelioma compensation can be emotionally difficult, but it is often the financial support that victims and their families need. With the right legal support, it is possible to get compensation as both a victim, but also as the loved one of someone who has passed away. Asbestos compensation after death is more difficult to achieve, but it is still possible. It is made difficult due to the fact that gathering evidence is harder when the victim obviously cannot recall the facts directly. An experienced solicitor will know how to collate evidence from other witnesses and still be able to craft a compelling case.