Sara Hunt is an Partner with particular expertise in dealing with occupational disease, asbestos and mesothelioma claims representing union clients, legal expense insurance and private clients.
In a series of articles all this week Sara considers different aspects of the British Lung Foundation’s Breathe Easy Week.
The British Lung Foundation’s Breathe Easy Week will take place from today until the 24th June 2012. The theme and purpose behind this year’s week is to raise awareness of lung disease and promote lung health among people who might be considering doing DIY around the home.
Asbestos has been used extensively as a building, insulating and fireproof material and white asbestos was only banned in this country in 1999, which means any building built before then may contain the hazardous material.
People are at risk when the asbestos is disturbed or damaged and asbestos fibres become airborne. If inhaled it can lead the development of an asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma, a cancer which encase the lungs, heart or sometimes the stomach and is a fatal and incurable condition. It can be caused by exposure to one single asbestos fibre.
Other asbestos related conditions are asbestosis, which is scarring to the lungs and can cause serious breathing difficulties although is generally only caused by a heavy exposure to asbestos.
Pleural thickening is large areas of thickening of the lung linings, restricting the lung movement and causing breathing difficulties.
Lung cancer is a tumour within the lung commonly caused by smoking but may also be caused by a heavy asbestos exposure.
If you are concerned you may be suffering from an asbestos related disease you should seek medical advice from your GP who is likely to refer you for an X-ray or CT scan.
The British Lung Foundation’s Take 5 and Stay Alive campaign aims to make people stop and think about where asbestos might be in their home before they undertake DIY. Visit www.take5andstayalive.com to find out more about this campaign.
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This article is for your general information only and should not be used as a substitute for specific medical or legal advice. If you feel that any of the issues raised in this series of articles have affected you and you wish specific legal advice, call our helpline number at the top of the page or contact us online. If you require medical advice consult your GP or contact NHS Direct immediately.