Asbestosis is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers resulting in irritation and inflammation of the lungs. The body responds by attempting to break down and neutralize these fibers.
But because asbestos fibers do not break down, the body’s attempts to correct the situation result in further damage and a build-up of scar tissue. This scar tissue eventually prevents oxygen and carbon dioxide from traveling through the lungs and into the blood stream, making breathing more difficult.
Symptoms of the disease take 10-30 years to develop, so early treatment and detection is not an option.
Studies have shown that workers who have been exposed to large amounts of asbestos have a risk of developing lung cancer that is 3 to 4 times greater than that for workers who have not been exposed to asbestos. This asbestos exposure has been observed in such industries as shipbuilding, asbestos mining and manufacturing, insulation work, and brake repair.
Common symptoms include:
Shortness of breath