Can you tell whether a person has an asbestos disease?

Asbestos under examination

Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening are not easy to diagnose.

The symptoms – such as breathlessness, persistent cough, chest pains, tiredness and weight loss – are associated with a great many other lung diseases and general illnesses.

Developing an asbestos-related disease

It takes between 10 and 50 years to develop an asbestos disease following exposer to airborne fibres. After such a long time many people do not remember or think to consider that asbestos may be the cause of their suffering.

Also, the symptoms tend to gradually develop and people dismiss increasing breathlessness and general tiredness as the usual wear and tear of ageing.

So, how can you tell if your symptoms are asbestos related?

What did they do for a job?

Arguably the best indication of whether a person could have an asbestos disease is their work history or the work history of close family members. Anyone who has trouble breathing as they get older should consider their occupational history. What did they do for a job? Where did they work? Who did they come into contact with?

The six questions and information contained in the infographic could help establish whether someone has an asbestos-related disease. And that could make a huge difference to their quality of life when it comes to their care and the future of their loved ones.

Jan Garvey, from The National Asbestos Helpline, says: “Asbestos-related diseases take decades to develop, which can deny people the justice and support they deserve. After such a long time it can be difficult for people and medical professionals to make the connection between past exposure to asbestos and their lung condition. We’re hoping that our six questions and infographic help jog the memory and highlight asbestos awareness.”

The National Asbestos Helpline is a free helpline for anyone affected by asbestos. The specialist team has provided help and support to asbestos victims and their families for more than a decade. They received more than 4,000 calls and year and help with practical advice, benefits, civil claims and campaigns on behalf of asbestos victims.

It is more important than ever to get an asbestos survey when carrying out work that could potentially disturb asbestos.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

WP 6441 Original 39554 scaled e1606141093410

Celebrate Your Unique Talent

Did you know every year November 24th is observed as Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day? No matter how unique or different your talent is, today is the day that you are encouraged to share it with others. Here at Acorn we aren’t shy about our talent. We are the leading experts when it comes to …

Read MoreCelebrate Your Unique Talent

JG Brum Small

Acorn Opens New Birmingham office!

We have some exciting news… We have expanded with the opening of a new Birmingham office! The new office is located on Bristol Road South and will be led by Joe Gore (pictured) and staffed by people from the Birmingham area. Not only will this new office help us to better service our existing clients …

Read MoreAcorn Opens New Birmingham office!

boiler room e1604325326231

Specifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

Why do we need specifications for removing asbestos? Surely, asbestos removal is just asbestos removal? The truth is there are a million different ways to do asbestos removal. There are different ways to approach projects. The purpose of the specification is to get the clients the right end result. For example, if you were having …

Read MoreSpecifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res 14 e1604324375354

Asbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

There are two types of assessments, material risk assessment and priority risk assessments. Together they will show you the total risk and help you manage it. What is a material risk assessment? The material risk assessment is carried out by an asbestos surveyor on site and looks at the risk of the asbestos product releasing …

Read MoreAsbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

Regulation 5 e1604323415767

Regulation 5 – what you need to know

Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations relates to the identification of the presence of asbestos. Under regulation 5, it puts the responsibility on the employer to identify asbestos before any building or demolition works are carried out. It covers the non-domestic market and the domestic market. When we are doing a project in …

Read MoreRegulation 5 – what you need to know

WP 6556 Original 39589 Medium e1601897882134

Asbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

In this blog, we’ll examine asbestos spray coatings and some of the problems you can face when it is being removed. Asbestos spray coatings were phased out in the mid-1970s, so it’s old now and deteriorating. They have a very high asbestos content. It was mixed with Portland cement binder, to stick asbestos fibres together. …

Read MoreAsbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

Licences blog pic sml

How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

It is so important that you get competent asbestos contractors to carry out asbestos removal works. Asbestos Contractors fall into two categories: non-licensed and licensed. Licensed contractors receive a licence from the HSE to work with licensable asbestos materials. You need a licence if you are going to work on the higher risk materials such …

Read MoreHow do you get the right asbestos contractor?

Acorn School Site 47 e1601897304536

Asbestos Reinspections

In this blog we will look at asbestos reinspections and how they differ from a survey. Usually, reinspections follow on from some sort of survey – you should have an existing asbestos register from a management survey or a refurbishment survey. Your existing asbestos information – outlining where the asbestos is and what condition it …

Read MoreAsbestos Reinspections

work 731198 1920

What you need to know about asbestos databases

Asbestos databases are sometimes called portals and are an electronic place where your asbestos information and Health & Safety information is held and stored on an online system. Lots of things are going into the Cloud and that is why we have moved in that direction. In the past, Asbestos survey reports were on paper …

Read MoreWhat you need to know about asbestos databases

Blog 4 - house Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res-96

Common asbestos materials in domestic properties

When people think about asbestos, they often associate it with larger buildings such as warehouses, schools, hospitals and factories. Often, people do not think about asbestos when it comes to homes, but asbestos was heavily used in parts of the domestic market and used on large scales within local authority homes. In this blog, we …

Read MoreCommon asbestos materials in domestic properties