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Why claim with Fieldfisher's Asbestos Disease team

Our experience

We were one of the first firms to launch asbestos claims in the 1980s. Our partners have more than 25 years' experience, and we have recovered more than £270m for victims of asbestos disease. We aim to recover the highest amount of damages in the shortest amount of time with the least stress and at no cost.

Our cases

We have sued almost every employer who has exposed their workers to asbestos. We have a database of 3000 companies who we have sued, with access to their insurance details, previous cases and previous witness statements.

Our heritage

We have been involved in the most important legal development in asbestos disease cases. We have taken cases to the Court of Appeal/House of Lords to change the law and asbestos disease sufferers. Most recently in the case of Bussey vs Anglia Heating Ltd.

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What is asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition that results in shortness of breath. The condition is incurable, but treatment is available to help manage the symptoms. Asbestosis can be caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.

How common is asbestosis?

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of people who are affected by asbestosis since many people with the condition mistake their breathlessness as a natural consequence of ageing and do not report their symptoms.

The health risks of asbestos

Intact asbestos does not present a health risk but once it becomes chipped or broken, asbestos can release a fine dust consisting of tiny asbestos fibres. If someone breathes in the dust, the fibres can damage the lungs and trigger asbestosis.

The symptoms of asbestosis can begin 15-20 years after exposure, although it can take up to 40 years for symptoms to become apparent.

Health concerns regarding asbestos were raised as far back as 1898, but it was not until the 1970s that strict regulations were introduced to control the use of asbestos and limit an employee’s exposure to it.

The use of asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 and it is now also banned across the EU. Asbestos is still widely used in the developing world.


In the most serious cases, asbestosis puts enormous strain on a person’s health and shortens their life expectancy. In the UK in 2017, there were around 500 deaths where asbestosis was an underlying cause, up from around 100 per year in the late 1970s.

People with asbestosis also have a high risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma. 

Both lung cancer and mesothelioma can develop many years after the initial exposure to asbestos, usually between 40-60 years.

The prognosis for lung cancer is poor with only 10 per cent of people affected achieving a cure. Treatment is available that can extend life for many years.

The prognosis for mesothelioma is also very poor. Around 85 per cent of people diagnosed with the condition will die within three years of being diagnosed.

There are around 2,500 mesothelioma deaths in the UK every year, around 7 per day (2015-2017). Mesothelioma is the 18th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for one per cent of all cancer deaths (2017). Experts estimate that by 2050, 90,000 people in the UK will have died as a result of mesothelioma.

Asbestos News 2019



Contact us

If you you or a family member have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, contact our specialist team today.