Once cancer develops, it can spread quite rapidly. However, it can take decades for asbestos-related cancers to develop. Indeed, it can take as long as 30 years for it to happen. That’s one of the reasons that asbestos was used so long and so intensively in building and construction. It took some time for the substance and the diseases to link up in research and medicine.
The first symptoms of asbestos-related diseases usually include a shortness of breath and chest pains as that ever so precious layer is eroded (and fluid developed between the lung and the chest wall). Some sufferers also experience weight loss that is seemingly unrelated to anything else that person does or eat. Usually, the first step to diagnosis is through x-ray after chest pains and shortness of breath develops. Unfortunately, most people diagnosed with Mesothelioma have a life expectancy of nine months after diagnosis, which is frighteningly fast.
The Government Is Beginning to Take This Seriously
Of course, there was no real way of knowing the effects of asbestos when it was first put into use in the UK. Because it is a naturally forming rock, and because it can take such a long time to display negative symptoms associated with this material, the use of asbestos was encouraged for a long time.
However, as research came to light linking physical ailments with asbestos, the government slowly began to take action. Certain types of asbestos were banned from use in the UK in 1985. Other forms (and yes, there are a few) were finally outlawed in 1999. If your home was built after this point; it’s unlikely that asbestos was used in its construction. However, most homes in the UK were built before this point.
In 2014, new legislation and support funds were put in place by the UK government to protect and compensate the people (and the families) of those that have suffered the negative effects of asbestos exposure.
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