Roberts Jackson on respiratory conditions during Breathe Easy Week

Roberts Jackson on respiratory conditions during Breathe Easy Week
Roberts Jackson on respiratory conditions during Breathe Easy Week

Roberts Jackson on respiratory conditions during Breathe Easy Week

Breathe Easy Week
The British Lung Foundation will celebrate its annual Breathe Easy Week between the 12th-18th June. Breathe Easy week is a series of events in which support groups from The British Lung Foundation help raise awareness of different lung conditions and diseases.

Themes and topics in previous years have included smoking and asbestos related conditions. The theme for Breathe Easy Week this year is “breathlessness”.

Breathlessness is a symptom in different lung conditions such as asthma, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Unfortunately these conditions can be caused by a person’s working environment.

Roberts Jackson Solicitors want to highlight these conditions and other symptoms to look out for plus what kind of hazardous jobs could contribute in causing these conditions. We have covered this topic on many previous occasions and more specific guidance can be found here: https://www.robertsjackson.co.uk/industrial-disease-claims/feeling-breathless-work/

Occupational or Work Related Asthma

Occupational Asthma is caused by or can be aggravated by exposure to hazardous substances in your workplace. There are two types of occupational asthma – “allergic occupational asthma” & “irritant-induced occupational asthma”.

Allergic Occupational Asthma
Allergic occupational asthma is the most common type of occupational asthma. Asthma symptoms can be triggered by allergens in a workplace such as four dust, animal dander or car fumes. Allergens can cause changes in your airway, making them hypersensitive. You may be able to carry out your job role for weeks, months even years before you start having asthma symptoms because it can take up to that long for your immune system to become immune to the allergen.

Irritant-Induced Occupational Asthma
Irritant induced occupational asthma is caused when you breathe in a chemical in your workplace which unfortunately irritates your airways; this then causes symptoms of asthma to start. This form of occupational asthma isn’t as common as allergic occupational asthma. This can happen due to accidental spillage of chemicals and substances in your workplace.

Other Occupational Asthma symptoms and causes.
Some other symptoms to look out for if you feel you may suffer from occupational asthma are coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing.

The most common substances which cause occupational asthma are:

  • Flour/Flour dust
  • Chemicals
  • Bleaches
  • Fumes
  • Latex

Asbestos Related Conditions

In recent years there has been a lot of focus on asbestos related conditions and this appears to be due to latency period between exposure and symptoms. Most forms of asbestos were banned throughout the 1970’s and by the 1980’s all forms of asbestos had been banned. However, people who were exposed to asbestos fibres during this time are likely to be suffering now, with one of the following if they have been unfortunate enough to contract an asbestos related condition:

Asbestosis
Asbestosis is a long term lung condition which is caused by prolonged or heavy exposure to asbestos. It can take up to around 20-30 years after you first inhale asbestos fibres for the condition to develop. The asbestos fibres become lodged inside your lungs which cause scarring which eventually leads to shrinking and hardening of the lungs which unfortunately causes you to suffer from a range of different symptoms for example breathlessness, wheezing, a persistent cough or even pains in chest and shoulder.

Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a cancerous condition which is caused by exposure to asbestos. However unlike asbestosis, mesothelioma can be caused by a single asbestos fibre meaning exposure to asbestos only has to be minimal. It can take up to around 20-30 years after your first inhaled asbestos fibres for Mesothelioma to develop. Unfortunately in most cases, this condition can prove fatal. The protective lining which is found around the internal organs of the body and the pleura around the lungs are either damaged or affected by Mesothelioma. You can suffer from a range of different symptoms due to this condition such as shortness of breath, cough, fever, excessive sweating and fatigue.

Next Steps
If you have developed such as breathlessness, wheeziness or tiredness fatigue because of the work you do, it would be advisable to contact your GP about the symptoms and see if you can receive a formal diagnosis of your conditions.

If you a diagnosed with Asthma please make sure to make your employer aware of your condition as they may be able to put measures in place to protect you from aggravating your condition further.

Roberts Jackson Solicitors are experts who deal with all types of different lung condition and disease cases with a team of solicitors and fee earners who have vast amount of experience. If you have suffered or been diagnosed with occupational Asthma or and Asbestos related condition and would like free legal advice on the options available to you then please contact us on 0800 001 4496 or alternatively you can fill one of our contact forms found on the right hand side of this page. We provide a No Win No Fee service; one of our advisors will call you back at a time convenient for you.

Please note all information on this page is provided by Roberts Jackson Solicitors. Roberts Jackson Solicitors are not affiliated with the British lung foundation, however if you would like more information about breathe easy week or the British Lung Foundation please visit their site www.blf.org.uk.

Sources
[1] Occupational asthma and work aggravated asthma
[2] Breathe Easy Week
[3] What is Breathe Easy Week?
[4] List of substances that can cause occupational asthma