Asbestos Related Disorders

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Asbestos-related disorders facts

  • Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been linked to human lung disease.
  • All forms of asbestos increase the risk of lung disease.
  • The three types of asbestos-related lung disease are scarring (asbestosis), non-cancerous disease of the tissue of the lining of the surface of the lung (pleural disease), and lung cancer (of the lungs or their outer lining tissue [mesothelioma]).
  • Asbestosis is a process of lung tissue scarring caused by asbestos fibers.
  • Asbestos is the only known risk factor for malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the tissue lining the lung (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum).
  • The time between exposure to asbestos and the development of cancer can be anywhere from 10 to 40 or more years.
  • Smoking appears to increase the frequency and/or the rate of progression of asbestosis.
  • Diagnosis of asbestosis or asbestos-related lung diseases and cancer is often made using chest X-rays or CT scans of the lungs.
  • Treatment of asbestos-related diseases includes appropriate vaccinations, treatment of lung infections, smoking cessation, and the use of oxygen if necessary.
  • If asbestos is suspected in a building, an expert in asbestos abatement should be consulted for inspection, correction, and maintenance.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2015

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Asbestos - Asbestosis Signs Question: What were the signs and symptoms of asbestosis in you or someone you know?
Asbestos - How to Limit Exposure Question: If you've worked with asbestos, what is the best way to limit exposure?
Asbestos - Asbestosis Diagnosis Question: What types of tests or exams led to a diagnosis of asbestosis?
Asbestos - Asbestosis Treatment Question: What forms of treatment have you received for asbestosis? Did you quit smoking?
Asbestos - Pleural Disease Question: Please describe how you or your loved one deals with asbestos-related pleural disease.