What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral which is mined in Canada, Russia, China and South Africa.

The term asbestos encompasses two groups of minerals – serpentine and amphiboles. The most common example of the serpentine group is chrysotile (white asbestos).

Asbestos has been in use since the late 1800s but its use increased greatly during World War II. Since then it has been used in many industries. For example, the building industry used asbestos for strengthening cement and plastics, as well as for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption. The shipbuilding industry has used asbestos to insulate boilers, steam pipes, hot water pipes and nuclear reactors in ships.

The car manufacturing industry has used asbestos in vehicle brake shoes and clutch pads. More than 5,000 products contain or have contained asbestos. Plumbers, laggers, electricians, building workers, heating engineers, joiners and garage workers are just some of the occupations that may have been exposed to asbestos.

Common Asbestos Diseases

There are several common diseases that can be caused by exposure to asbestos.


This is a form of fibrosis of the lung and normally occurs as a result of heavy asbestos exposure over a prolonged period. It affects the efficiency of the lungs and the person affected often has symptoms of breathlessness and coughing. This disability may increase as the person gets older. Compensation is, in principle, available for this condition and we can assist you with an asbestos compensation claim.


Mesothelioma is the most serious type of asbestos disease. It presents as a tumour on the lining of the lung or the lining around the abdomen. The average latency period from first exposure to a diagnosis can be between 30 and 50 years. Even relatives of people who have worked with asbestos have been known to develop mesothelioma from the asbestos dust brought home on work clothes. If you or a family member or friend has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, ring our asbestos helpline now on 0800 833 099 and we can assist you with an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma.

Asbestos Lung Cancer

Asbestos lung cancer usually takes 20 plus years from first exposure to develop. Most doctors consider that a person cannot develop asbestos induced lung cancer without first being diagnosed with asbestosis. We can assist you with an asbestos compensation claim for this condition.

Diffuse Pleural Thickening

Diffuse pleural thickening affects the lining of the lungs. It can result in significant disability if it is extensive and affects both lungs. It generally takes 10 years after first exposure to develop. Call our Asbestos Legal Advice Helpline on 0800 833 099 now to start an asbestos compensation claim.

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