What is Asbestosis?
What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a form of scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos dust. This scarring, also known as fibrosis, makes it difficult for the lungs to work efficiently and so, causes breathlessness.
Not every case of scarring of the lungs (or Fibrosis) is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is an almost identical illness, called cryptogenic fibrosing alvelolitis (CFA), which is common among older people. The symptoms are very similar to Asbestosis but the cause is unknown.
What causes Asbestosis?
There are many types of fibrosis, with many different causes. When someone develops fibrosis as a result of heavy exposure to asbestos, this type of fibrosis is called Asbestosis.
There is a relationship between the amount of exposure to asbestos dust and Asbestosis and therefore, if you were only exposed to a low level of asbestos dust, it may be that your fibrosis was caused by something other than your exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos was commonly used to insulate pipes, boilers, tanks and was used in other building products such as tiles and cement.
What types of asbestos are dangerous?
All types of asbestos (white, blue and brown) are dangerous and their use has now been banned in the UK. There is no known ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure. However, to cause Asbestosis, you must have been exposed to a heavy level of asbestos dust.
Examples of those who were commonly exposed to asbestos include:
- shipyard workers
- asbestos factory workers
- boiler Men
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of Asbestosis usually do not develop until many years after the exposure to asbestos dust has ceased; typically 10 to 20 years later. Asbestosis symptoms can become worse over time.
Symptoms may include:
- shortness of breath
- persistent cough
- in some cases, finger clubbing
- in extreme cases Asbestosis can result in respiratory failure.
A person with Asbestosis also has a slightly increased risk of developing other serious asbestos related conditions such as asbestos related lung cancer or Mesothelioma.
What should I do if I think I have Asbestosis?
If you have been exposed to asbestos and you are suffering with any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.
You may be referred for an MRI scan or x-rays which will determine whether or not you have developed Asbestosis.
Can I make a claim?
You can make a claim if you have been diagnosed as suffering with an asbestos related illness. After discussing your situation and symptoms with our expert Industrial Illness Solicitors, you’ll discover whether you have grounds for an Asbestosis compensation claims.
Call us on 0800 0384 384 to discuss your condition and find out if you have a claim and how we can help you.
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