Day -1: Asbestos – what is it?

Breathing in asbestos fibres is damaging to the lungs and can cause four main diseases:

1. Asbestosis – a non-malignant scarring of the lung tissue

2. Asbestos-related lung cancer

3. Mesothelioma – a form of cancer mainly affecting the lining of the lungs

4. Non-malignant pleural disease (diffuse pleural thickening and pleural plaques)

Asbestos is the term for a group of minerals that is made up of thousands of microscopic fibres. We now know the dangers of breathing in asbestos but for many years we didn’t and it was used in buildings for roofing, flooring and insulation. Thankfully its use is now banned but buildings built before the year 2000 may still contain asbestos. The HSE has more information on asbestos health and safety.

Anyone who has worked in the construction industry may be at risk in jobs such as joiners, plumbers, electricians, painters and builders. Those who worked in railway engineering, factories and shipbuilding may also be at risk. Fire and Rescue officers may also be at risk having entered burning buildings that contain asbestos.

If you think that you are suffering from an asbestos related disease such as mesothelima or asbestosis, then you should immediately seek medical attention and contact your local GP. There are also a large number of national and local asbestos and mesothelioma support groups who can advice you on your condition and provide support and guidance for both you and your family. They, as well as specialist solicitors may also be able to advise you on asbestos and mesothelioma compensation claims.

In the North East Linda Scott chairs the Mesothelioma support group, you can contact her by replying to this post with your name and number and we will pass  them on to her.

Please don’t forget to vote for me in the Plumber of the Year 2016 competition where I am donating all the £10,000 winnings to Mesothelioma UK. The link is http://bit.ly/EMPOTY
Many thanks, Richard Weir.

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