Ipswich: Asbestos-related fisease - dormant then deadly
- Credit: Archant
Legally Speaking with Ashton KCJ
More than 2,000 people in the UK currently die each year of mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by asbestos dust.
Michael Wangermann, a Personal Injury Solicitor at Ashton KCJ, explains more.
“A few decades ago asbestos was everywhere. It was a commonly used building material from the 1950s until it was banned in the mid 1980s, and was particularly prevalent in heavy industry.
“Most people who have been exposed to asbestos never suffer any illness, but those who do develop symptoms 20, 30 or 40 years afterwards, so we are now seeing the results of people’s exposure to asbestos in the past. While East Anglia had less heavy industry than Northern England, local diagnosis is relatively common as people retire to the region.
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“Finding out that you or a member of your family has an asbestos-related disease will come as a nasty shock as there are frequently no early warning symptoms.
“The first sign that there may be a problem is when someone who has previously worked in dusty conditions (sometimes not aware that they were being exposed to asbestos), starts experiencing breathing problems.
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“A visit to their GP or hospital may reveal that they have pleural thickening, a gradual solidifying of the lining of the lung that causes breathlessness, or asbestosis, which is fibrosis of the lung. In the worst case scenario, they may be diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer attacking the lining of the body cavity and one of the causative factors in lung cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
“For some this starts an investigation into when they were exposed to asbestos, which is where we can help. As many people work for several employers, we will ask them to piece together their work chronology.
“We will then start trying to trace the companies they worked for in the past, as well as their former colleagues.
“Provided we can find the employer or organisation responsible for the asbestos exposure and their insurers, we can make a financial claim. It may also be possible to bring a legal claim, as long as action is started within three years of the person finding out that they are suffering from a condition caused by asbestos exposure.
“Whilst none of this can turn the clock back, it may help to ease a person’s life through the time of their illness, and vitally, to provide for their families in the future.”
If anyone you know has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and needs the help of a solicitor who specialises in this type of claim, please contact Michael Wangermann.
Ashton KCJ Solicitors
Telephone 01473 849950
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We would advise you to seek professional advice before acting on this information.