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Diagnosed with an illness caused by asbestos but I don’t remember being exposed to it – what do I do?

You may be surprised to know that many people diagnosed with an illness caused by asbestos such as mesothelioma do not know where their asbestos exposure may have come from.

Most people now recognise that asbestos is harmful. However, that was not always the case. Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, employers usually did not warn workers of the dangers posed by asbestos. Very often, workers did not even know they were working with or near asbestos.  Clients have reported that at the time they were exposed to it, they did not even know what asbestos was. It was simply not something that was on most people’s radar.

Asbestos was used in a huge variety of ways. It was best known as a building material but it was commonly found in all sorts of things, from brake discs, boilers, fireplaces, guttering and roofing. The use of asbestos was so widespread that asbestos is still all around us. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before 2000 and is regularly found in our homes, offices, shops and schools.

According to 2019 Health and Safety Executive statistics for example, 17% of mesothelioma sufferers were carpenters.  Equally, a significant number of mesothelioma sufferers are teachers and former teachers because asbestos was so widely used in the construction of old school buildings.

There have also been many cases of partners and loved ones developing lung cancer or mesothelioma as a result of handling and washing overalls that were covered in asbestos dust.

What steps to take

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness but you are not sure where or when you might have been exposed to asbestos, the first step is to contact a specialist solicitors firm. At Wards, using our experience and knowledge, we will be able to investigate this with you, for example by going through your work history.
Regardless of your current or former occupation, taking specialist legal advice is vital. This includes when:

• a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness;
• a loved one has died from asbestos exposure;
• you are diagnosed with a lung disease and believe you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, even if you don’t know exactly when or where.

Get in touch

For a free initial consultation, please call Richard Green on 01275 858515 or email asbestos@wards.uk.com.

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