Military personnel working in the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force can contract an asbestos-related disease due to long-term exposure to the substance and even small levels of exposure over a significant period of time, can lead to diseases later in life.
When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. It is when inhaling these fibres that the damage occurs. Many asbestos-related diseases will not affect you immediately.
It can be over 30 years before you start to suffer with symptoms or health complications, but once diagnosed, it is unfortunately too late to reverse the damage and by which point your health would have deteriorated to such an extent that you will already be unable to continue working.
Asbestos is responsible for several worrying diseases, such as:
- Asbestosis – a serious type of lung scarring that causes them to shrink
- Asbestos-related lung cancer – with the risk of secondary cancers developing
- Mesothelioma – a type of cancer that affects the chest and abdomen lining
- Pleural thickening – causing breathlessness and discomfort
- Pleural plaques – areas of scar tissue on the lung lining
While it is not impossible to contract one of these diseases after a one-off incident, it is quite unlikely as they will usually develop after sustained exposure through your workplace.