Asbestos exposure-What Are The 4 Diseases That Are Commonly Associated With Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos exposure results from breathing in asbestos fibers. If rocks, soil, or products containing asbestos are disturbed, they can release asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers can be breathed into your lungs and could remain there for a lifetime. Most people don't show any signs or symptoms of asbestos-related disease for 10 to 20 years or more after exposure. When symptoms do appear, they can be similar to those of other diseases. Asbestos-related diseases can be divided into 1}cancerous and 2}non cancerous diseases:

Non-cancerous diseases


This disease is characterized by scarring of the lungs. It is commonly occurs as result of exposure to high levels of asbestos over a long period of time, as seen in work-related asbestos exposure. Smoking increases the risk of developing asbestosis. Initially there are no symptoms but latter some symptoms which show up include difficulty in breathing, chronic cough and chest pain.

Pleural changes or pleural plaques

This disease is characterized by thickening and hardening of the pleura (the pleura is the lining that covers the lungs and chest cavity). Most time the disease is asymptomatic {the people will have no symptoms}, but sometimes the affected victims may have decreased lung function. This might lead to the development of difficulty in breathing with exertion or sometimes at rest if the degree of lung dysfunction is severe.

Cancerous diseases

Lung cancer

This is cancer of the lungs and lung passages. Cigarette smoking combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the likelihood of lung cancer. Lung cancer caused by smoking or asbestos looks the same. Symptoms for lung cancer can vary. Some late stage symptoms can include chronic cough, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and coughing up blood.


This is a rare cancer mostly associated with asbestos exposure. It affects the lining of the lungs and sometimes the lining of the abdomen. Occasionally it affects the lining of the heart and the lining of the testis. Symptoms include chest pain, persistent shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss, abdominal swelling and abdominal pain in case of abdominal mesothelioma. Other less common symptoms include haemoptysis {coughing up of blood} and excessive sweating.

These asbestos-related disease can be serious, though not everyone exposed to asbestos gets health problems. These diseases range form those that are mild and manageable to those that are very dangerous and very difficult to manage, leading ultimately to death.

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