Asbestos Related Pleural Effusions

There are several reasons why a pleural effusion, also referred to as ‘water on the lungs,’ may develop. The condition can be caused by a number of critical health issues, such as pneumonia or serious heart and liver conditions. Whilst pleural effusion is not specifically an asbestos disease, it is a condition that can be caused by or accompany many of the diseases that result from exposure to asbestos, such as asbestosis, pleural thickening, mesothelioma, and asbestos-related lung cancer.


What are Asbestos-Related Pleural Effusions?

A Pleural Effusion is a build-up of fluid between the layers of the pleura – a thin membrane that covers the inside of the ribcage and the outside of the lungs. They can be caused when microscopic asbestos fibres are breathed in and become lodged in the lungs. When the body reacts to the lodged fibres it can cause “mesothelial cells” to become abnormal and produce large amounts of fluid. It is this overproduction of fluid by the mesothelial cells accumulating in the pleural space that causes the pleural effusion. The condition may be asymptomatic, or it may cause chest pain while breathing. In some cases, it may result in the development of pleural thickening.

Asbestos-related pleural effusions do not usually develop until many years after exposure to asbestos dust, normally taking between 10 – 40 years from initial exposure to asbestos to manifest themselves. If symptoms do develop, they may include: 

  • Progressive breathlessness
  • Reduced chest wall movement
  • Chest pains that intensify when coughing or breathing deeply
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever
  • Persistent coughing

Anyone diagnosed with a pleural effusion who has not already been told of any other health issues should find out from their doctor what has caused the build-up of fluid as it could be an indication of a previously undiagnosed and more serious asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has ever worked with asbestos and are concerned that a diagnosis of a pleural effusion may be due to your exposure to asbestos, please contact our specialist asbestos illness team to find out if you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation. You can call on 023 9244 8100 and we will be happy to discuss your claim with you. 


Can I Make a Compensation Claim for Pleural Effusions?

If your diagnosis has been within the last three years and your pleural effusion has been linked to a disease that was caused by occupational exposure to asbestos dust and fibres, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim for industrial disease.

You should also be aware that the 3 year limitation period for starting a compensation claim for an asbestos-related disease starts from the date you were first told that you had been diagnosed with the disease, rather than when you were exposed to asbestos.


What Compensation May I Be Entitled to for Asbestos-Related Pleural Effusions?

The amount of any compensation will be in relation to the respiratory disability that the condition is causing you.

Along with making a claim for compensation, there are also a number of benefits available to people who have asbestos-related diseases, including a one-off payment which you may be entitled to, under the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979. Although this will rarely be available for pleural effusions on their own unless accompanied by pleural thickening.

Our experienced team will be able to guide you through all the benefits and payments that may be available to you and explain the process of making a claim for compensation.


Specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors

Larcomes’ friendly and efficient team of specialist industrial disease solicitors has assisted the sufferers of asbestos diseases and their families claim compensation for over 25 years. We understand that it is a worrying and stressful time when you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. We appreciate making a compensation claim for your illness may be a daunting prospect.

Even if the company you were employed by has ceased trading, we may still be able to assist you as, if we are able to trace their former employer’s liability insurer, we may still be able to make a claim. We have access to a wide range of databases which hold records of historic insurance policies for companies. 


No Win – No Fee Pleural Effusions Compensation Claims

Larcomes are happy to investigate your asbestos-related illness claim without any obligation. In most cases we offer no win-no fee agreements which give you the peace of mind that you are not going to be lumbered with any legal bills from pursuing your claim. This is a funding solution, sometimes known as a ‘conditional fee agreement,’ which means that you do not have to pay anything up front for your legal fees and that if your case is unsuccessful, you will not be responsible for any of the legal fees. These will normally be covered by way of a legal expenses insurance policy which your solicitor will discuss with you at the start of your case.

If your case is successful, the legal fees and other costs incurred are paid by the insurers of the other party and not by you.

We understand that is a worrying time if you, or if a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness.


Get in Touch

To speak with one of our specialist Industrial Disease team members Please call on 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry.

If you or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, please visit the website of HASAG Asbestos Disease Support (Hampshire Asbestos Support & Awareness Group) for further information and support. Please click hereto be taken to their website. 

To find out more about our expert Industrial Disease team, you can click on the links below:

Get in touch

To speak with one of our specialist asbestos compensation claim team,

please call on 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry


If you or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, please visit the website of HASAG Asbestos Disease Support for further information and support.

Please click here to be taken to their website.

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168 London Road                    
North End
Tel: 023 9244 8100


Appletree House
17 St Georges Walk                  

Tel: 023 9224 6666