Freephone Helpline

For confidential advice, care and support then call 0800 8766 773 between 5.00pm & 10.00pm.

Out of hours

The freephone helpline is available Monday - Saturday. Please call
020 7476 3180 at any other time and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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About Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral which has been widely used since ancient times. Its resistance to heat, electricity, chemical damage and tensile strength made it a highly popular material. Asbestos has been used in the manufacture of a wide range of items including yarn, cloth, cement, pipe and boiler insulating material, corrugated roofing, wall and floor tiles and wall insulation. It was widely used as an insulation material in the construction, railway and shipbuilding industries.

There are various different types of asbestos, including blue, brown and white asbestos. Of these, blue and brown are the most harmful types. Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to the development of these serious medical conditions, even 20 to 50 or more years after the exposure:

Of these, mesothelioma, a form of cancer, is the most serious. Those most at risk of developing asbestos diseases include:

People who have come into contact with asbestos indirectly in the following ways may also be at risk:

Mesothelioma affects the lining of the lung, lining of the abdominal cavity or lining around the heart. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma are breathlessness, chest pain and persistent cough.

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma at present, there are treatments available that can help to control the symptoms and improve quality of life. The kind of treatment offered will depend on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatments often include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery or a combination of these.

Whatever stage you are at ELMS can offer advice and support. Many of our volunteers have either been there themselves, or supported their relatives or friends when they were being diagnosed or treated. For further information on treatments or medical processes then contact ELMS for an informal chat.