Types of Asbestos diseases
There are a number of asbestos related conditions that can be contracted if there has been exposure although only a minority of those exposed to asbestos will eventually develop symptoms. The diseases are as follows:
An asbestos cancer usually developing in the lining of the lung (the pleura), which can be contracted through small as well as large exposure to the dust. Current English law provides that where several employers exposed an employee to asbestos, if only one employer can be sued (eg. because all the others are insolvent), then that employer is liable for the full amount of compensation awarded for the contraction of mesothelioma.
Contracted through very heavy exposure to asbestos. If the sufferer has been a smoker, under current law, one can prove that the exposure to asbestos has caused the condition. These can be difficult cases but they can be won if asbestosis is also present in the lungs or if there is sufficiently heavy exposure.
A fibrosis of the bronchial trees of the lungs caused by heavy exposure to asbestos dust. Inhaling all sorts of dust can cause damage to the lungs of those who breathe it in, with one such result being fibrosis of the lungs. The name of the disease varies according to the type of dust causing the fibrosis. Asbestosis is the name given to fibrosis caused by asbestos dust. This is a progressively disabling condition which can lead to significant respiratory disablement.
Asbestos fibres penetrating the wall of the lungs, known as the pleura, to cause a thickening on the chest wall. Pleural thickening acts as a kind of waistcoat around the lungs affecting the lungs ability to “bellow” during inhalation. This can cause breathing disability.
Scarring of the lining of the lungs caused by the asbestos fibres penetrating the wall of the lungs. Such scars appear on x-rays. They are benign and do not and are not likely to cause any symptoms. Nor are they likely of themselves to lead to any serious asbestos related conditions.