Global Asbestos Awareness Week

By Gillian Crotty

Global Asbestos Awareness Week began on 1st April, and is a campaign aimed at improving education and awareness about asbestos and the diseases that it causes, such as mesothelioma.

Asbestos is a natural fibre that was used in construction, ship building, auto manufacturing and a number of other trades. It is now known to be a deadly carcinogen, that when inhaled or ingested can become lodged in the chest cavity and cause painful respiratory conditions and cancer. The material is not used very commonly now but can be found in old buildings, and many people who were exposed to it decades ago can just now begin to show symptoms of an asbestos related illness. The week long campaign of awareness was launched by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation (ADAO) in 2007, and involves content from asbestos medical, scientific, and safety experts.

Mesothelioma is one of the most well known conditions that can result from exposure to asbestos, and is a type of cancer that often starts in the lungs as pleural mesothelioma or in the abdomen as peritoneal mesothelioma. The symptoms can include the following:



  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Sweating and high temperatures
  • A persistent cough
  • Losing weight when not dieting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A hoarse or husky voice



  • Pain in the abdomen (tummy)
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Poor appetite
  • Losing weight when not dieting
  • Diarrhoea or constipation


If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness and you want to speak to a solicitor specialising in asbestos related compensation claims in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by clicking here.