Asbestos Related Diseases

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

All of these asbestos related diseases have a long latency period, meaning symptom may not show for a long period of time (sometimes decades) following exposure to asbestos. For cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, cases are often rapidly fatal once diagnosed, while conditions such as asbestosis may progress over time to
seriously affect normal daily activity and lead to complications which can be fatal.

The HSE estimates over 5,000 deaths occur each year from asbestos related cases with 2,446 death from mesothelioma alone.

The most common asbestos related disease are:-

  • Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a rare long-term chronic disease characterized by scarring in the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Symptoms of asbestosis can include chest pain, shortness of breath and a cough. Complications of asbestosis include mesothelioma and lung cancer. It usually develops around 20-30 years exposure to asbestos dust.

There is no cure for asbestosis, but treatment can alleviate symptoms.

  • Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs. Usually affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), but can also affect the lining of the stomach (peritoneal mesothelioma), heart or testicles.

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 60 to 80, and men are affected more commonly than women.

Asbestos Related Diseases mesothelioma
  • Pleural plaques

A thickening of the plural membrane caused by irritation from asbestos fibers.

Pleural plaques are areas of thickened tissue that form in the lining of the lung (the plural membrane) caused by irritation from asbestos fibres. Pleural plaque is an indicator of asbestos exposure. Pleural plaques may take 10 to 30 years to be diagnosed and usually do not require treatment.

If you think you have asbestos containing materials in your residential or commercial property and are worried it might contain asbestos our sampling kits are a perfect way to safely sample and test any products and keep yourself and your family safe.