Causes of MesotheliomaWhat can cause Mesothelioma in the workplace?
What Causes Mesothelioma?
While there are rare cases of the disease that are caused by other factors, the most common cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to Asbestos.
Humans have used asbestos for hundreds or even thousands of years. Records of asbestos mines in Roman times show that they had discovered its many positive properties and attributes a very long time before its dangerous potential side effects were noticed. The word Asbestos comes from the Greek meaning ‘inextinguishable’ – purporting to its incredible heat and fire-resistant properties.
In the years following World War 2 asbestos became increasingly popular due to its insulating capabilities along with its comparatively low cost. The use of asbestos peaked in around the 1970s and by the 1980s the dangers associated with its use were starting to come to light. It has been banned as a building material in the UK since the year 1999, but it is still present in a huge range of buildings and products that were made before that time.
Left undisturbed, asbestos is unlikely to cause any issues. It is when it is broken up that it has the potential to release its tiny fibres into the atmosphere where they can be breathed in by anyone nearby. The trouble with the fibres is that they are so small they can get into the lining of the lung where they settle, although it can take many years for the damage they can do to be noticed.
Asbestos is the collective name for unique substances from the Serpentine and Amphibole mineral families. Each of these substances is comprised of tiny fibres, which in turn are made up of millions of microscopic “fibrils”. When these tiny fibres enter the lung, the body is unable to destroy them as it would with other foreign particles, and so instead of being harmlessly removed from the body, they remain in place and cause damage to the alveoli (tiny air sacs within the lung) or can travel within the body and settle in other areas such as the abdomen.
There are three common types of Asbestos:
- Blue Asbestos (Crocidolite)
- Brown Asbestos (Amosite)
- White Asbestos (Chrysotile)
All carry similar potential risks although the dangers from Crocidolite and Amosite were recognised earlier than those of Chrysotile; the former being banned in the UK in 1985 whereas use of the latter was not banned until 1999.
If you have been exposed to asbestos at any time during your life you could potentially develop issues, however it must be pointed out that not all of those who come into contact with asbestos go on to develop any kind of ill health as a result. It is not yet known why this is the case, nor how to identify those at higher risk than others.
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Claiming For Your Mesothelioma
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If you are unsure whether you can claim compensation for a Mesothelioma as a consequence of your work environment, then call our personal injury claims team for free for no obligation advice on making a claim. They will ask you some simple questions about your condition, talk to you about what’s happened and can tell you if you have a viable claim for compensation or not. Call us 24/7 on 0800 122 3130.
Latest Mesothelioma News
Please complete our 15 second test form. A family in Scotland has been awarded damages of £250,000 in a ground-breaking legal case after it was found that their mother had died as a result of exposure to asbestos from her husband’s work clothing. William Sweeney, from...read more