There are many respiratory diseases associated to working in an industrial environment several of which could be caused by exposure to asbestos and it is entirely possible a person can suffer from more than one condition, depending upon their work and exposure to various materials.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified a range of respiratory diseases caused by exposure to asbestos dust in the workplace and further identified other work-related respiratory diseases which account for an estimated 14,000 new reported cases each year. Alongside new reported cases further concern is expressed at deterioration levels in earlier reported cases all of which represent upset and anguish to everyday families.

Respiratory diseases can be debilitating and often serious and account for about 12,000 recorded deaths each of which 8,000 deaths are thought to involve asbestos-related diseases or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A large number of respiratory conditions are associated to working environments which might include exposure to;

  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Dust from silica, talc, coal/metal dust, stone, cement, brick or concrete
  • Dusts from flour, grain/cereal, animal feeds or straw
  • Airborne materials from spray painting or manufacturing foam products
  • General work environments including hot/cold/damp/wet/dry conditions
  • Bird protein from pigeons, chickens or exotic birds

An outline of some of the more common workplace respiratory conditions is provided.