Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Background to Mesothelioma
Studies have shown that as many as 99 out of 100 cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos. Not many people know that asbestos is a natural mineral. It was mined from rock found in many countries and is made up of tiny fibres that are as strong as steel but can be woven like cotton and are highly resistant to heat and chemicals.
Prior to the 1980s, asbestos was imported to the UK in large quantities. It was used in a number of industries such as construction, ship-building and even in the manufacturing of household appliances. When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, it releases tiny fibres that can be breathed into the lungs and cause inflammation, a build-up of scar tissue (known as fibrosis) and sometimes cancer.
During the 1960s the first definite link between mesothelioma and asbestos was made. Asbestos is now known to be the most common cause of the disease. A wide range of people likely to have been exposed to asbestos exist, such as :-
- construction workers
- demolition workers
- people who lived near to asbestos factories
- people who worked in places where asbestos was present.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease please contact our solicitors on 033 3344 9602 or complete our online claim form to discuss your own case and our team will guide you through the claims process.