Why are claims relating to secondary exposure to asbestos increasing? We have had a number of enquiries over the last 12 months from women who have been diagnosed with asbestos related diseases, primarily mesothelioma. As a law firm who have represented predominately male workers with asbestos claims, It is only in the last 12 months that we have seen a trend developing whereby women have been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness.
Mesothelioma is an asbestos related cancer which is primarily caused through exposure to asbestos fibers in the workplace. The consequences of exposure do not manifest themselves for anything from 20 – 50 years. The women we have spoken to have never been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Many of them never worked outside the home and if they did it was not in an environment where they were exposed to asbestos. This raises the issue of where and how the exposure could have occurred?
On researching the topic further we discovered that secondary asbestos exposure can arise in a number of situations. A common cause of exposure is where people did not work directly with asbestos but were exposed to asbestos fibers because they worked with others who had been in contact with asbestos.
The most likely explanation for the increase in women with mesothelioma is that they have been exposed after washing their husband’s work clothes which have been in contact with asbestos fibres in the workplace. A recent report in the UK’s Daily Mail on 3rd May 2013 outlined the case of a 66 year old woman who had died of mesothelioma. Her illness was linked to exposure to asbestos after washing her husband’s work clothes 40 years previously. In an out of court settlement for this asbestos claim her husband was awarded £187,000.
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Malcomson Law are experienced asbestos litigation solicitors. If you or a member of your family have been diagnosed with mesothelioma phone us on 01 87 44422 or email us.
Please note that this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.