Action Mesothelioma Day 2024

Martin Hanna

05 July 2024

Friday 5th July 2024 marks Action Mesothelioma Day, an event aimed at raising awareness about mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos that most commonly affects the lining of the lung.

The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a mineral fibre widely used in the early to mid–twentieth century by manufacturers and builders.  When inhaled, asbestos fibres can travel deep into the lungs. The fibres accumulate and irritate the mesothelial tissue that lines the organ-containing cavities of the body. Over time, the constant irritation can cause mesothelioma to develop. 

At Francis Hanna & Co, we specialise in mesothelioma claims involving asbestos products and occupational asbestos exposures. To help raise awareness of mesothelioma, its impact and the legal implications for victims who have been diagnosed with this debilitating disease, we have compiled a list of common questions you may have if you have suffered because of exposure to asbestos.

How much asbestos exposure can result in mesothelioma?

Though typically it takes years of continued asbestos exposure to cause health problems, significant evidence shows that even low to moderate exposure to asbestos fibres can cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Since these illnesses often take years, even decades, to manifest, it is hard to gauge original levels of exposure.

Who is at risk for asbestos exposure?

Those at greatest risk for asbestos exposure are people who worked in the asbestos, construction, and shipbuilding industries. Millions of other people have suffered exposure to asbestos due to use of or exposure to the 3000 products known to contain asbestos.

How long after exposure to asbestos will mesothelioma appear?

Because the latency period (the time between exposure to asbestos fibres and the appearance of the disease's symptoms) for mesothelioma may range from 15 to 50 years, victims who were exposed to products containing asbestos decades ago may only now be experiencing the harmful effects.

What is the typical prognosis for those diagnosed with mesothelioma?

The prognosis for a patient with mesothelioma is determined by many factors, including the stage, size, and location of the tumour, the type of mesothelioma cells, and the patient's overall health. Generally, the life expectancy of patients with advanced mesothelioma is one to two years.

What should people do if diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease?

Firstly, anyone suffering from mesothelioma should follow all of their doctors' instructions. Because sufferers may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, they should also contact a solicitor with experience in this highly specialist area so that an occupational exposure history to asbestos can be compiled. This is vitally important as this statement can be used in any subsequent case to prove the exposure history in the event that the person suffering from mesothelioma is medically unable to give evidence when their case comes to trial or in the event that they have passed away.

Does the law limit how long a person has to pursue justice?

Yes, in Northern Ireland a claim must be instigated within three years from the date the symptoms first manifested themselves. As such, it is vital that anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma seeks advice on their legal position as soon as possible.  

Our firm has been dealing with these cases for decades when our founder, Francis Hanna took the very first cases in the United Kingdom back in the 1960’s.  Since then, we have helped many clients successfully pursue mesothelioma compensation claims.  We are very familiar with the symptoms a victim of this disease will be experiencing and the issues that they will be facing. We understand all the legal implications and can help them access much-needed compensation.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this condition, contact us immediately and one of our solicitors will personally make a home visit for all mesothelioma victims anywhere in Northern Ireland to ensure comprehensive investigation is undertaken as early as possible to identify which employer is to blame for your injuries and a comprehensive occupational statement is taken immediately. 

For further advice or assistance call us on 028 9024 3901 or email Martin Hanna on