Pleural Thickening: Q&A

What is pleural thickening?

Pleural thickening is often linked to exposure to asbestos and happens when the pleura (the two-layered protective membrane that surrounds your lungs) is scarred or thickens due to asbestos fibres being inhaled into the lungs.

Pleural thickening can develop on one lung or on both lungs and causes the tissue to harden, which in turn prevents the lungs from working correctly.

Pleural thickening can occur in two forms:

  • Diffuse pleural thickening- this extends over a large area and may restrict expansion of the lungs
  • Pleural Plaques- these are restricted areas of pleural thickening which do not usually interfere with breathing

Although pleural thickening is often linked to asbestos exposure, there are other more common cause's e.g. traumas to the chest from accidents, broken ribs, tuberculosis, etc. It is important that these other possible causes are excluded by a medical expert.

What are the symptoms of pleural thickening?

Symptoms tend to vary from person to person however the most common are:

  • Feelings of breathlessness
  • Chest pain (especially during exertion)
  • Tightness of the chest

Am I entitled to compensation for pleural thickening?

If you have been diagnosed with pleural thickening and have symptoms, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Asbestos related diseases such as pleural thickening can often take many years to develop. By this time the person you need to make a claim against, such as a past employer may no longer be alive or in business. Pursuing these personal injury claims is complicated and is best dealt with by an experienced solicitor.

If you would like more information about asbestos-related diseases then please click here.

If you need advice on making a claim for asbestos related pleural thickening call Hattons Solicitors on 0800 298 9690 for free initial advice or visit

Categories: Occupational Diseases


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