What to Do If You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos at Work

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By now, we all know about the dangers of working with asbestos but for many years its dangers were unknown and largely unpublicised. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of health problems including breathing difficulties as well as cancer. The most common type of cancer linked to asbestos exposure is called mesothelium and you will need to contact Maurice Blackburn mesothelioma lawyers to help you to take your case to court to win compensation if you have this type of cancer as a result of working with asbestos.

What is Mesothelioma?

The human body has a protective membrane that covers a lot of our internal organs and mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in this protective membrane – called the mesothelioma. The main cause of this type of rare cancer is exposure to asbestos and the symptoms will usually only present themselves 30-40 years after exposure, as this cancer has a long latency period.

Here is a summary:

  • Mesothelioma is caused when the body has been exposed to asbestos
  • It typically takes 30-40 years after exposure to appear as cancer
  • However, it can take up to 60 years and as little as 15 years to appear

This type of cancer occurs when the asbestos fibres are inhaled into the body (or ingested) and these fibres pierce the mesothelial lining, which creates abnormal cells that results in inflammation or scarring. After a long time, pleural plaques will alter the DNA of these cells to make them malignant.

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Here are the two main types of mesothelioma:

  1. Pleural
  2. Peritoneal

If you have been exposed to asbestos – even if it was decades ago – and you now have health problems such as mesothelioma, then you may be able to make a compensation claim to help you with your medical bills.

You will need to get in touch with a specialist lawyer to help you to fight your case in court and you will need to provide your lawyer with all of the facts pertaining to your illness and work history in order to find out if you have a good case or not.

They will be able to advise you about how long the case will take to make, as well as a rough idea on the sum of money you could win in compensation and it is worth noting that cases like this vary in terms of how long they take to get resolved and the compensation amount.

In order to diagnose mesothelioma, you will need to do the following:

  • Go to your doctor to have an examination done
  • This exam will include blood tests, CT scans, X-rays and an analysis of your peritonea and pleural fluid, which is done by inserting an endoscope to take a tissue sample

You will need to provide any medical certificates and notes during your court case and your lawyer will be able to take you through what else you will need to take to help you to win your case.