What to do if you’re exposed to asbestos

You might be surprised to know that asbestos exposure is a still a major issue – particularly in older buildings and many workplaces. If you think you may be at risk of being exposed to asbestos, it’s important to be clued up on the possible symptoms you might see – and what steps to take.
Check the facts
Asbestos exposure can lead to serious health risks – so it’s understandable that you might be concerned about whether you’ve been exposed to it or not. Before you act – it’s important to check the facts and find out if the substance really is asbestos. A false accusation of asbestos exposure can have serious repercussions – at the very least, it can prove to be very costly to you. The best way to make sure of this is to take a sample of the material, and get it officially tested. If tests show that it really is asbestos, then make sure you keep evidence in the form of an official certificate.
<b>Report the exposure</b>
As soon as you find out that it definitely is asbestos you’ve been exposed to, then you must make sure you inform the owner of the property. By law, they’re obliged to take action against it – if they refuse to tackle the problem, they could receive heavy fines.
<b>Know the symptoms</b>
Asbestos exposure can produce a wide range of symptoms – you might not experience them all, so it’s vital that you stay observant to what’s happening to you. Possible symptoms indicating mesothelioma include shortness of breath, a severe cough or coughing up blood, pain in your chest and difficulty in swallowing. Over time, you may also experience substantial weight loss and bone tenderness.
<b>Seek medical attention</b>
Once you’ve identified the substance and are sure about the symptoms, then the next urgent step is to get to a doctor. Take a list of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing – if possible, keep a diary describing your observations. If you’ve got that official certificate identifying asbestos – be sure to take that with you. A medical check up should include each of the symptoms you’re experiencing – most likely, you’ll need to have a chest x-ray, tests to look at your lungs’ functionality, as well as numerous blood and urine tests. Mesothelioma is not always easy to diagnose, so you may need to be patient while the process is going on.
<b>Are you covered?</b>
The long term health concerns of mesothelioma may significantly impact your ability to work at your former level, so finding out about any financial compensation you may be entitled to is a good idea. When you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace there’s a strong likelihood you may be covered by your employer’s insurance policy. If been exposed to asbestos, then you might be entitled to an asbestos compensation claim. Make sure you’ve got all the facts on possible hazards to you in your workplace – to protect your health and safety at all times.

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