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Construction industry and the hidden workplace danger of asbestos

  • 17 Dec 2014

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The Hidden Danger of Asbestos in the Workplace

Although asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999, and the most dangerous form of asbestos has not been used since the 1960s, more people than ever are suffering its effects.

In fact, mesothelioma – a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos – kills twice as many people the UK every year than motor vehicle accidents.

Exposure to asbestos more likely in construction industry

While exposure to asbestos is not limited to those in the construction industry, the nature of the material means that contact with it is more likely

Amosite, crocidolite and chrysotile are all now banned, but have been commonly used in in insulation over the years, and are proving a hazardous hangover of our recent industrial past.

This has prompted local personal injury specialists Johnson Law to raise awareness of asbestosis, a lung condition associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Almost 1,000 cases are diagnosed in the UK every year

So are you at risk?

Asbestosis is caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. This causes inflammation and scarring of the tissue in the lungs. The condition seriously affects everyday life and any complications can prove fatal, with around 2,000 deaths annually linked to asbestos-related lung cancer.

Professions most strongly associated with asbestos exposure

  • Insulation workers

  • Plasterers

  • Boiler makers

  • Shipyard workers

  • Sheet metal workers

  • Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters

  • Heating and refrigeration mechanics

  • Chemical technicians

David Johnson from Johnson Law advises: “If you work in these or similar professions you need to be aware of the symptoms of asbestosis and seek immediate medical advice should you experience any.”

Symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Persistent cough

  • Fatigue

  • Laboured and rapid breathing

  • Chest pain

  • Swollen fingers

While there is no cure for asbestosis, there are ways to treat the symptoms and help to prevent cancer developing. Your doctor can provide vaccinations to protect your lungs against other infections, and oxygen therapy is also known to be beneficial.

David Johnson adds: “Don’t ignore these symptoms if you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos. The earlier a problem is identified, the better your chances of a good long-term prognosis.”

 

 

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Johnson Law,
29-31 Knowsley Street,
Bolton,
United Kingdom,
BL1 2AS

Phone: 0800 130 0699
Fax: 01204 520 777

Visit Johnson Law's website

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