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The aviation industry has come a long way since the Wright Brothers piloted the first powered aeroplane in 1903. Although their best flight that day only lasted 59 seconds and covered a distance of 852 feet, airlines today fly all over the world – often transporting passengers to remote countries in a matter of hours.

While the capabilities of modern aircraft have dramatically improved over the last century, manufacturers have also utilised new measures during the construction of these machines. For example, up until the 1980s, numerous companies used asbestos when building aircraft.

This material, famed for its ability to resist heat and provide insulation, was often regularly applied on a number of aircraft components. For example, as engines could become very hot, some manufacturers may have used asbestos blankets to prevent the mechanism from catching fire or damaging other parts.

In addition, asbestos materials may have been used on other aircraft components, such as:

  • Brakes
  • Cockpit heating systems
  • Gaskets
  • Electrical wires
  • Providing insulation

However, those who used asbestos may not have realised that it carried several dangers. Potentially, if damaged or disturbed, it can release fibres into the air which may eventually cause asbestos cancer if inhaled – such as mesothelioma.

Fortunately, pilots and aircraft mechanics are unlikely to suffer asbestos exposure today as legislation has since prohibited individuals from using, supplying or importing this material. However, as asbestos-related diseases can potentially develop decades after a person's initial exposure, older workers are still being diagnosed with these conditions.

For example, in 2009, medical professionals diagnosed a 44-year-old man with mesothelioma. Although the sufferer worked as a pilot, it appears this profession ran in the family – and he could have been exposed to asbestos while visiting his father at airfields.

It has been claimed that, as a child, he was regularly exposed to asbestos fibres due to being in close proximity to hangers and aircraft. Therefore, while mechanics were applying the fire-resistant material to components, he could have been unwittingly inhaling this dangerous substance. He eventually decided to pursue compensation through an asbestos claim and his case was "successfully resolved" in 2012.

Claiming compensation for asbestos-related diseases

Although modern-day pilots and aircraft mechanics are unlikely to develop asbestos-related diseases, many of their predecessors could be suffering from these conditions.

However, if they were not at fault for their asbestos exposure, Seth Lovis & Co could potentially help them claim compensation. These funds could reimburse any lost earnings as well as provide therapy costs.

To find out if you could benefit from the services of an asbestos solicitor, please call us today on 0808 252 0678 or send us an online enquiry form.

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