Many people suffering from asbestos related diseases will have been exposed in the course of their employment.

asbestos whitelaw macdonaldIf you, or a loved one are worried about developing such a condition, or have been diagnosed as suffering from it, we hope the following will help you.

Asbestos has been used extensively in many industrial environments including construction, mining, shipping and dockyards and power plants. It appeared ideal for use in pipe and boiler insulation, fireproofing material, cement, brake linings and in building panels.

However, you may have been exposed to asbestos in some other way, for example, indirectly by washing your husband’s dusty overalls, as a child playing in the backyard containing crushed asbestos, or maybe you have come into contact with asbestos in a building such as a school or hospital whilst renovations have taken place.

These are the principal asbestos related diseases where victims and their families have been entitled to significant compensation claims.

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Asbestos Lung Cancer
  • Pleural Thickening and Plaques


Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung or the peritoneum. Mesothelioma is rare but has been shown to be caused by even small exposures to asbestos dust.
Exposure to asbestos in many cases takes place at work, however, it can also occur through environmental, or household contamination.
Mesothelioma can take decades to emerge as a virulent form of cancer and requires urgent and thorough action to assist those seeking compensation.


Exposure to asbestos can cause scarring, (fibrosis), of the lung. This leads to a reduction in lung function causing breathlessness. This condition develops over many years and may be progressive.

Lung cancer

People who have been exposed to asbestos have a high risk of developing lung cancer, further exacerbated if they smoke as tobacco smoke is the single most important known environmental respiratory carcinogen.
It is therefore crucial to evidence exposure to asbestos in any attempt to link cancers, other than mesothelioma, to asbestos.

Pleural Thickening

Pleural thickening is a type of scarring of the lining of the lung which is less serious than asbestosis but can in some cases cause significant breathing difficulties. Thickening is evidence of exposure to asbestos and it places people at higher risk of developing other more serious chest diseases .

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are scars which form in the area around the lung and are usually symptomless. Pleural plaques are a sign of exposure to asbestos and may often be an early indication of further problems being diagnosed at a later date.

For further information, or to discuss asbestos related diseases please call either our Newcastle branch on (02) 4941 8999 or our Central Coast branch on (02) 4367 2600.

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