We all know that Asbestos is a natural mineral used extensively in construction work. This material has been in use since the 1950s. Asbestos is a preferred material as it has many properties like fireproof and acid/alkali resistant which makes it popular in building construction. It is also a very good insulator and thus, easily binds other materials to give great strength. Because of its’ binding property, it is more often mixed with other building materials.
Now that we have talked about its positive properties, asbestos can be deadly when people are exposed to this material and come in contact with the material.
Exposure to Asbestos
The most hazardous occupations where people are exposed to this material are
Manufacturer of Raw Asbestos
Construction and Building work that uses asbestos
Other people who are at the risk of exposure are
People residing near the asbestos industry
Family members of people who work in the asbestos industry
Though this is not a complete list, this is considered to be primary.
Diseases due to Exposure to Asbestos
Diseases that affect people due to the exposure of asbestos are
Cancer in Lung
An asbestosis is a specific form of pneumoconiosis that occurs in the lungs due to the exposure to asbestos dust. When it occurs, the scarring restricts the ability to breathe and prevents oxygen from entering the bloodstream.
When asbestosis occurs, the person will have shortness of breath, dry cough that is persistent, pain in the chest, loss of appetite, enlarged fingers and deformities in the nails.
Asbestosis cannot be cured but it can only be controlled and the symptoms reduced. One can prevent the disease from becoming intense by continuous treatment. The last option is a lungs transplant.
The complications that occur due to Asbestosis is severe. It can lead to mesothelioma, an intense form of lung cancer. It can also lead to fluid build up around the lungs. These complications occur based on how long the person is exposed to asbestos. It is also to be noted that people who have the disease live for decades without further complications too.
What to Do if you have Asbestosis
When you first find out that you have been exposed to asbestos and you have asbestosis, you need to consult a doctor. You need to monitor your health on a regular basis and follow all the safety procedures required for this condition.
It is also the responsibility of the employers to check for the levels of asbestos toxicity in the workplace. Work on the asbestos must be restricted to a particular enclosed area and employees who work there must be given adequate training before working in that area.
If the employer doesn’t follow the standards at the workplace, then the corresponding authorities can be contacted so as to take action against the employers.
The Legal Process
When you are affected by asbestosis and proper compensation has not been provided by the employer, then a legal process can be carried out to get compensation. A Solicitor can be contacted and a detailed statement can be given to him so that he can identify the right reason to make the employer liable. Then the employers have been pursued compensation through their insurance. Settlement can occur in 3 or 6 months if there is no problem but if there is a dispute, then it may take a year or 2 to get settled.
Even if the person affected passes away before the process is complete, the nearest kin can claim the compensation. If there is no insurance that can be located, then the government pays the compensation to the affected person.
It is always important to take immediate action. Always record the details of the work history and your exposure to asbestos. In the event of you or your family becoming sick, these details will be helpful to claim a compensation. Legal action will be taken against the employers, manufacturers or the people who have allowed the use of asbestos products in the premises. Even if the employer is out of business, the claim can still be made with the help of a solicitor.