Asbestos is a material that was once very widely used and was considered a cost effective option in many industries. Many people, particularly men, therefore worked closely with this substance with no idea that it was actually a dangerous and potentially lethal carcinogenic.
Exposure to asbestos has led to many people being diagnosed with health problems over recent years. There are a number of health risks associated with exposure to asbestos, some of which can prove serious or even fatal. Others have the potential to develop into something more serious in the future.
4 common asbestos related diseases
There are a number of conditions that are linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos, including health problems such as:
Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that stems from exposure to asbestos. There are a number of different variations of this cancer, the most common of which is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the protective lining of the lungs and chest wall. The disease has a very high mortality rate and also has a long latency period, which can make it difficult to diagnose before it reaches its advanced stages.
Asbestosis: Another common health issue relating to exposure to asbestos is asbestosis. This is a lung condition that can stem from asbestos exposure and results in non-malignant scarring of the lungs. This type of condition can lead to more serious health problems in the future, such as the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma. Those who are diagnosed with the disease may therefore be able to make an asbestosis compensation claim as a result of contracting the disease.
Asbestos related lung cancer: Asbestos related lung cancer is slightly different to pleural mesothelioma. Some of the key differences between the two include the physical characteristics and the risk factors (non-asbestos related) for the two types of diseases.
Non-malignant pleural disease: This condition can include diffuse pleural thickening and pleural plaques, which can affect the pleura – the lung’s outer lining. Many people who worked with asbestos several decades ago have been diagnosed with this non-cancerous condition.
The most serious of these diseases are mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer, both of which can prove fatal. However, it is important to bear in mind that asbestosis can lead to more serious health problems in the future and also needs to be taken very seriously.
Some asbestos related diseases can be very difficult to diagnose because of their non-specific symptoms. In light of this, it is advisable for anyone who has experienced prolonged exposure to asbestos to advise their GP accordingly, in case problems arise in the future.