Early in 2010, both a government health department and a court appeal ruling over distinctions to be made between causal connections in the issue of asbestos exposure, pleural thickening, pleural plaques and development of mesothelioma, proved disappointing to the claimants involved in the claim for mesothelioma compensation.

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease ( COPD) is another serious disease, where researchers have stated that the connection with asbestos is not as clear as in other lung diseases, even though reports of exposure to asbestos can easily irritate a previously existing case of COPD. In some cases, however, asbestos exposure may be one of the factors that causes the condition.

Many with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease also suffer both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In the case of COPD, the airways and air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs lose their elasticity, often making it difficult to properly exhale, and trapping air inside the lungs. Stale air in the lungs means reduced ability for oxygen exchange, inhibiting expulsion of carbon dioxide.

The appearance of any of the following symptoms of COPD is a likely sign that significant lung damage has occurred :

-A persisting cough
-Increased phlegm and mucus production
-Shortness of breath
-Feeling of tightness in the chest
-Frequently occurring respiratory infections

Smoking is the primary cause of emphysema and lung cancer. It is also known to greatly increase the risk of lung cancer and asbestosis for people who are exposed to asbestos. Amongst the many of those who formerly worked in heavy industries, which manufactured or worked with asbestos materials and were also regular heavy smokers, some have been called to establish the extent of the causal connection with asbestos exposure by detailed medical diagnosis.

The long period of latency combined with a continued heavy smoking habit may also affect an asbestosis claim and the expertise and advice of an asbestosis lawyer will be necessary at the outset.