People with lung cancer often presume that their illness is caused by smoking, but experts are warning that exposure to asbestos is another likely cause.
While they are correct in thinking that smoking has contributed to their lung cancer, if they have been exposed to asbestos over a period of time, then they are at even greater risk of developing lung cancer.
In the UK, more than 43,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year.
But it is estimated that only 2,500 of these cases are asbestos related.
However, the National Asbestos Helpline believe this figure to be much higher.
They want people to realise that asbestos as well as smoking can cause lung cancer.
It is important for people to establish whether they have previously been exposed to asbestos within the past 10 to 50 years.
Carl Griffiths from the National Asbestos Helpline said, “It could make all the difference to their level of care and for making provisions for their family’s future. Government benefits and compensation are available to help victims of the deadly asbestos legacy.”
Lung cancer sufferers could start by looking at where they have previously worked.
Maybe they worked in the construction industry as a tradesperson.
As asbestos was used extensively within construction over the years, it’s inevitable that workers will have been exposed.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone working in a trade or the construction industry are most likely to have been exposed to asbestos fibers.
So for example plumbers, joiners, electricians, builders, engineers, and ship builders.
Factory workers working with asbestos would also be heavily exposed.
The asbestos fibers once inhaled become trapped in the lungs, which over time cause inflammation and damage the lungs.
After a long period of time, the embedded fibers cause tumours which lead to the development of lung cancer.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/