Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral product, previously used for flame proofing and insulation. Although useful, it’s also deadly. Recent statistics show that asbestosis and asbestos related cancers cause more than 5000 deaths each year, with 1% of all UK males over the age of 40 being affected. It’s therefore not surprising that asbestos related claims are on the rise.
Although asbestos hasn’t been used in construction for many years, it is directly responsible for an epidemic of industrial disease claims. The substance is composed of millions of tiny fibres, which lodge in the lungs if they’re inhaled. This leads to scarring of the lung tissue (asbestosis), cancer of the chest and lung linings (mesothelioma), lung cancer and pleural disease. Only a tiny amount needs to be inhaled in order to do damage. Asbestos related diseases have been reported among the families of workers who brought asbestos particles into the home on their clothes. Symptoms of this type of industrial disease can take up to 40 years to emerge, which is why so many claims are related to historical incidents.
Given the scale of damage that asbestos can cause, it’s shocking to realise that it was used in so many public buildings, including schools and hospitals. Ironically, banning its use has also contributed to the number of claims, since many are made by workers who contracted a disease whilst removing asbestos from buildings.
Generally speaking, the control and removal of asbestos is much more tightly governed now. In the UK, the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (updated in 2006), impose significant responsibilities on workplaces to identify and manage asbestos related risks. It is to be hoped that these regulations and controls will greatly reduce cases of this tragic industrial disease over time.
If you think you might have been the victim of industrial disease – don’t hesitate – contact our specialist personal injury solicitors today on FREEPHONE FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or  364433 for a free first interview or e-mail our team of accident claims lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org