Asbestos Related Diseases

Asbestos related diseases are caused by the inhalation of the dusts from asbestos fibres, and many people will, over the course of their life breathe in asbestos dust, often by virtue simply of living in an industrial city. However, very few people actually contract asbestos related diseases or illnesses. Those unfortunate enough to do so are likely to suffer from one of the asbestos related diseases described below:


Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer which predominantly affects the outer lining of the lungs (called the pleura) although it can also occur elsewhere in the body such as the peritoneum which is the lining of the abdominal cavity. In mesothelioma cases patients suffer breathlessness, weight loss, fatigue, chest and back pain and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) when associated with the lungs and also abdominal swelling when affecting the peritoneum.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer unlike mesothelioma has many different causes. The most common cause is cigarette smoking, but exposure to large quantities of asbestos can also cause lung cancer. Obtaining evidence of the quantities of asbestos that you were exposed to can be very important. EAD have a panel of engineers who are experts in this field. Lung cancer symptoms include breathlessness, chronic chest infections, coughing up blood, pain and weight loss. Treatments are available in the form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.


Asbestosis is commonly referred to as a catch all condition for anyone who has been exposed to asbestos. However it is an independent condition of its right. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, chronic coughing, finger clubbing and tiredness. Asbestosis is a progressive condition which will often get worse as the condition develops leading to an increasing respiratory disability.

Diffuse Pleural Thickening 

Diffuse Pleural Thickening is an asbestos related condition which often develops from benign pleural effusion. Areas of the lung wall are thickened due to scarring caused by asbestos fibres. The condition is not usually life threatening although it can lead to significant respiratory disability. Often pleural thickening may be a sign of increased chance of developing a more serious asbestos related disease in the future.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural Plaques are small areas of scarring on the lungs which do not cause any respiratory disability. As the law currently stands compensation cannot be obtained for a diagnosis of pleural plaques alone unless it is accompanied by a diagnosis of another asbestos related condition. This may change in the future by provision of a government based scheme for compensation based upon the fear caused by knowledge of the risk that a more serious asbestos related disease may develop at a later stage.



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