Asbestos-related Disease – explanation by Dr Hans Hartung
Asbestos exposure can affect other areas of the body
- the pleura, which is the membrane lining the chest cavity in which the lung lies
- the pericardium, which is the membrane surrounding the heart
- and of the peritoneum, which is the membrane lining the abdominal cavity.
Exposure to asbestos can also cause pleural plaques but you do not qualify for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or State (government) Compensation for this condition. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland you may be able to pursue a civil (personal injury) claim for compensation.
Other conditions that might be caused by asbestos
There is some evidence to suggest that asbestos can also cause laryngeal cancer and may be implicated in causing pharyngeal, stomach and colorectal cancer…and conceivably a wide range of others. Asbestos: Effects on health of exposure to asbestos. Richard Doll and Julian Peto. HSE. 1985.pdf
All types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis. World Health Organisation. www.who
Across Europe 10 asbestos-related cancers are recognised; in the UK only two, lung cancer and mesothelioma, are prescribed. And it seems IIAC is content to see workers with eight of the 10 asbestos related cancers continue to miss out. www.hazards.org
The UK Government advisory body the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) has not recommended that the UK Government add those ‘other’ conditions to the list of prescribed diseases for the purposes of claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit & State (government) Compensation.
Compensation and Benefits Advice Service
Action on Asbestos has a welfare rights team able to provide you with practical and emotional support as well as advise you on all aspects of benefits and compensation you may be entitled to. Our website contains a brief outline of the main benefits and compensation that an individual may be entitled to. However, the UK system of benefits and compensation is extremely complicated and constantly evolving. We would advise you, therefore, to contact us in the first instance.
Last reviewed: February 2020