The Unexpected Assassin: Secondary Asbestos Exposure
Here at GA, we are seeing a rise in the number of secondary asbestos exposure claims that are reaching our doors. Secondary asbestos exposure takes the lives of unexpecting family members of individuals who worked in industries where asbestos containing materials were commonly used.
Some people are unaware that they have contracted an asbestos related disease as their exposure to the fibres could have occurred many years ago and they may never have worked with asbestos themselves. The individuals primarily exposed to asbestos may have returned home from work with asbestos fibres on their skin, clothes or hair and then proceeded to hug family members, share bath water, share car journey’s and living space, ultimately passing on the fibres.
Considering this, we are now seeing a number of children, wives and husbands approaching us after they may have been exposed by an ex-worker of the services, dockyard and other various industries.
Mrs X’s Story
Mrs X came to us in 2018 following a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Although never working with asbestos directly, Mrs X informed us that her ex-husband used to work in the Royal Navy on ships based in dockyards in Scotland and Plymouth. We pursued a secondary asbestos exposure claim against the Ministry of Defence on her behalf. At the end of his working day, her husband at the time would come home with his overalls, hands and hair covered in asbestos dust. Mrs X would shake out and wash his clothes and then proceed to share a living space with him. For a period of 4 years, Mrs X was unexpectedly exposed to deadly asbestos fibres which did not present in any health issues until more than 40 years later. Tragically, Mrs X passed away just 10 months after her diagnosis of mesothelioma. GA were able to secure a substantial settlement for the family for the secondary asbestos exposure that Mrs X experienced.
It is vital that family members who are aware of an individual with working history in asbestos related industries are familiar with the risks and symptoms to look out for. Medical advice should be sought on the presentation of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent Cough
- Chest pain/ tightness
We are committed to supporting all family members who are affected by asbestos related conditions.
If you think you might have been exposed to asbestos, whether this be secondary asbestos exposure or direct exposure, please get in contact with our Asbestos and Industrial disease team today.