Asbestos related diseases, principally asbestosis, fibrosis, lung cancer
and mesothelioma, are the largest and most costly diseases ever encountered in the UK.
The main health hazard is from breathing airborne asbestos fibres, and the latency period for asbestos related
diseases can be anywhere from 15 to 50 years plus. Exposures from the 1950s to the 1970s are still very much an unknown problem.
Once inhaled, asbestos is impossible to remove from the
lungs, where it eventually hardens, creates tumours or tissue thickening that eventually disables and then slowly
suffocates the victim.