How Asbestos is Effecting a Generation More Than 50 years on.
Posted on: 07 July 2015 by Pano Savvidis
Asbestos was considered a wonder product in the 1950's-70's in the construction industry. But now this mineral is effecting peoples lives dramatically more than 50 years on. Now we are older, it is important to recognize those who were exposed to asbestos and help them deal the possibility of living with asbestosis or even mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a mineral that was used in the 1950s through to the 70s in manufacturing, construction and shipbuilding. It was considered a wonder product, because it is non-flammable, flexible, low heat-conducting, perfect as insulation, brake linings, cement and fire-proofing. However, despite being useful, it is also very dangerous. If damaged or broken, and then inhaled, asbestos can cause a number of diseases.
The use of asbestos was banned by 1999, but it still remains in many buildings.
Symptoms of asbestos exposure can appear decades after someone has been exposed, and not everyone who has been exposed with suffer the same diseases, if at all.
If you’ve just been Exposed
There are now strict regulations for those working around asbestos. However, if you have experienced recent exposure to asbestos at work, then the first thing you should do is to report it to your employer.
If you don’t have Symptoms
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos in the past, but you don’t have symptoms, you should make sure that your doctor knows, and that you attend regular check-ups. Talk to them regularly (every year or so) about your asbestos exposure and any monitoring or tests that can be done.
Make sure that you know the symptoms of mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer cause by the exposure to asbestos, and there is no cure. If you develop a chronic cough, feel chest pain or have shortness of breath, then make sure you see a doctor, and remind them of your asbestos exposure.
Don’t allow yourself to be taken over by the fear of living with asbestosis. If you feel like you’re not living your life normally, talk to a counsellor.
If you do have Symptoms
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should go straight to an asbestos-related disease specialist or a thoracic oncologist, who will be able to determine whether your symptoms are to do with asbestos, or another disease:
- Pain in the lower back, abdomen or chest
- A persistent cough
- Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath or a feeling of tightness in the chest
- Rapid weight loss
- Problems with appetite or difficulty swallowing
- Sweating, fevers, diarrhoea or constipation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the abdomen
You can also go to a solicitor to see if you can claim any compensation from your employer. Even if the company that you used to work for no longer exists, it may still be possible to recover compensation.