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Sunday, July 27, 2008



Asbestosis is a non-cancerous, chronic lung illness caused by exposure to asbestos.

Significant exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and non-malignant lung and pleural disorders.

Risk depends on duration, frequency, concentration, & type of asbestos fibres.

Diseases from asbestos exposure take a long time to develop. Most cases of asbestosis occur in asbestos workers 15 or more years after initial exposure to asbestos.

Smoking greatly increases the likelihood of lung cancer in workers exposed to asbestos (although smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma (asbestos cancer)

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).

Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos.

Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 30 years or more after the first exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women.

Risk increases with age.

Symptoms & Signs

Shortness of breath (this is the primary symptom)

A persistent and productive cough

Chest tightness

Chest pain

Loss of appetite/weight loss

A crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.


History of asbestos exposure.

Chest X-rays are the most common method of detecting asbestos-related disorders.

Other tests:

Physical Examination
Pulmonary Function Tests
CT scan


Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.

Getting Help

Only a doctor can make the diagnosis of mesothelioma. It is important to see a doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos and have any symptoms.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Asbestos - The Silent Killer (Asbestos Resource Center )

Asbestos Resource Center

Asbestos is the single biggest work place killer today. People who have worked with the material are at serious risk from developing lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, fatal respiratory illnesses that debilitate their victims. Evidence of asbestos’ deadly effect on those who breathe its fibres is likely to multiply in the decades to come.

Asbestos was once heralded as the greatest building material available to those in the construction industries. Its high tensile strength, durability and flexibility, as well as heat insulation and fire retardant properties meant that it could save lives, make buildings strong and make industries rich. It was first used by the Greeks some 2000 years ago. They were aware of the health hazards it posed but believed that its magical ability to withstand fire far outweighed this danger.

The dangers to health were all but ‘forgotten’ until at the turn of the twentieth century when medical researchers noticed a large number of deaths and lung problems occurring in asbestos mining towns. In 1917 and 1918, several United States studies discovered that asbestos workers were dying unnaturally young.

Asbestosis was first diagnosed in a 33 year old woman in 1924, this lead to studies being carried out on asbestos workers in the UK. Examinations on the workers showed that thirty percent had asbestos-related lung disease. UK laws were introduced in 1931 to increase ventilation and to make asbestosis an identifiable work related illness.

Despite the established link between asbestos and lung diseases the industry continued to grow well into the last century. At the peak of its usage asbestos was produced in 24 countries worldwide; it was also manufactured in over 100. World production climaxed at over 5 million tonnes. The building, shipping, insulation and demolition companies whose workers came into contact with asbestos were often aware that their staff were at risk. They did not take sufficient steps to protect their workforce from personal injury.

Sadly the effects of asbestos take many years to manifest themselves. People who worked in the construction industries some 20 to 40 years ago may still be awaiting their fate. Asbestos causes several diseases, two of which occur only in those who have had contact with asbestos, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Lung cancer and emphysema are more commonly associated with smoking but frequently occur in non smokers with a history of asbestos contact.

It is thought that the worst is yet to come. The peak of asbestos usage was in the 60’s and 70’s so many people may develop lung diseases in the near future.

Due to the latency of asbestos diseases it is thought that we will be seeing many more incidences of mesothelioma in the next 25 years. Hugh Robertson, head of health and safety at the British TUC says: "A realistic estimate is that within the EU alone 500,000 will die in the next 35 years, half from mesothelioma and half from lung cancer. In Japan, an estimated 100,000 will die. If you add the Australian, Canadian and US figures then even a million is an under estimation – and that is only for the developed countries.”

People affected by asbestos are entitled to compensation from the companies who knowingly exposed them many years ago.

People affected by asbestos related illness should speak to a personal injury solicitor who has experience in asbestos cases.

For free legal advice visit to learn more about asbestos and to make a claim, or alternatively you can call us on 0800 10 757 95.

YouClaims’ solicitors have many years experience of handling asbestos related claims. They help people rebuild their future following exposure to the deadly effects of asbestos.

Editorial notes: YouClaim provides full accident litigation compensation services. Helps people to claim compensation for all types of injury from whiplash to head injuries.

By Sophie Evans

Asbestos Resource Center

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Asbestos Resource Center

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that stems from long-term and high-level exposure to asbestos dust and fibers that have become airborne. Asbestos was widely used in many countries, by many industries, and in many applications until the 1980s, when the dangers of exposure to this substance became widely known. It is now known that exposure to this substance can lead to various health problems, including respiratory problems, scarring of the lungs, and form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has a very long latency period and can lie dormant for decades from the time of exposure. As there are three variations of this cancer, each of which attacks a different area of the body, the related symptoms can vary. However, those who have worked with asbestos in the past are advised to familiarize themselves with symptoms for all variations of this cancer and to seek medical assistance should any of these symptoms manifest.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this disease and affects the lining around the lungs. Symptoms associated with this form of cancer include persistent coughing, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, weight loss, fever, rasping, coughing up blood, and severe shortness of breath even while resting. The second most common form of the cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma, includes symptoms such as abdominal pains and weakness, weight loss, nausea, loss off appetite, abdominal swelling, and bowel obstruction. Pericardial mesothelioma, which is the rarest form of the cancer, includes symptoms such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of all variations of mesothelioma can be very non-specific in nature, which increases the risk of a misdiagnosis. It is important to make your doctor aware that you have worked with asbestos in the past so that if you do experience any of these symptoms, a speedy and accurate diagnosis can be made.

Asbestos Resource Center

Friday, January 11, 2008

Who Is At Risk for Mesothelioma?

Asbestos Lawsuits - Asbestos Resource Center

The only known cause of mesothelioma is previous exposure to asbestos fibers. Often times workers are not told they are working around asbestos, and even single exposures to very low doses of fibers can produce serious long-term consequences.

Asbestos diseases are said to follow the trail of exposure. That means that wherever people have received asbestos exposure, regardless of their trade, age, sex or race, they are at risk of cancer and other diseases.

Almost anyone who has inhaled asbestos dust is at risk. Even a worker's families and friends can be at risk, because asbestos can often be carried on clothing.

Exposure to asbestos dust can occur at major construction job sites, in shipyards, in industry, and during construction or renovation of commercial buildings. See the list at right for certain occupations that are known to be those where risk of exposure to asbestos is great, and the numbers of people in such occupations contracting asbestos disease are high.

Asbestos Lawsuits - Asbestos Resource Center