Thursday 18 October 2007

Asbestos: Pleural Plaques Ruling

The House Of Lords has ruled that no compensation should be paid to workers exposed to asbestos who develop Pleural Plaques. Quite rightly, UNITE has denounced this heartless ruling.

The insurance industry argued that Pleural Plaques (small, flat discs formed on the membrane between the lungs and the ribcage) which form as a result of asbestos exposure are "not a disease". Their argument hinged on claiming that this scarring on the lungs has no symptoms.

However, the condition is associated with an increased risk of other asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis. Not surprisingly, people diagnosed with Pleural Plaques are often extremely distressed and fearful for the future.

Should protecting the profits of the companies that insured employers who continued to expose their workers to asbestos decades after the risks were known really come ahead of compensating workers suffering extreme anxiety about the possible time-bomb ticking inside them?

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