Asbestos is a substance which used to be commonly used in building work, but which is now used with far less frequency – primarily because of greater awareness of the effects that prolonged exposure to asbestos can have on a person’s health –whether it is someone living in a home with asbestos built into the structure, or someone working with it on a daily basis.
Probably the most common disease that can result from prolonged asbestos exposure is lung cancer, although other diseases of the lungs are also common results of such exposure. These include conditions such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and non-malignant lung disorders. The conditions generally develop as a result of long term exposure to the substance, rather than occasional short term exposure, making those who work with asbestos – and there immediate families – the ones who are at the greatest risk of developing any of these serious lung conditions.
Although an individual can work with, or around, asbestos for many years, they may experience no symptoms of any health disorders until years after they have ceased to be exposed to it. Most of the major conditions caused by asbestos, such as asbestosis and various cancers, do not manifest themselves for a long time after the initial contact with asbestos – indeed many of those who work with asbestos products do not begin to show symptoms of lung cancer or other lung problems until around fifteen years after the initial period in which they were exposed to it.
This lengthy gap between exposure and the public display of symptoms was a major factor in the failure to recognise asbestos as the common denominator in such cancer cases, for a long time after people began developing them. In the case of other asbestos related health conditions – such as mesothelioma – the time period between exposure and the manifestation of symptoms has sometimes been as long as thirty years. This is the primary reason why the dangers of asbestos were not fully recognised for a long time, and why workers required to use it were not provided with adequate protective clothing.
If you have been around asbestos, and you have some illness because of this, and you want to learn more about making asbestos claims you can discuss things with a solicitor, such as those at www.mesotheliomamatters.com.