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Asbestosis

Causes

Asbestosis is the lung disease caused by the inhalation or swallowing of asbestos fibers. Exposure to high levels of asbestos dust over long periods, or in rare cases even short-term exposure, affects the health of lungs.

What causes asbestosis?

  • Asbestos is caused mainly by the inhalation or swallowing of asbestos fibers.
  • Scarring in the lung tissue expands over time.
  • Lungs don't function properly anymore, becoming rigid and making breathing difficult.

Where did you get exposed to asbestos?

  • Occupationally. Most cases of asbestosis develop in people exposed while on the job. Jobs involving asbestos exposure are most common in the field of construction, automotive, shipyard, and manufacturing industries.
  • Environmentally. Living in older residences that contain contaminated products or living near natural asbestos deposits causes exposure.
  • Secondarily. Coming in contact with someone contaminated causes exposure but does not lead to asbestosis.

Asbestosis progresses gradually. Effects will be latent, developing over 20-30 years. Severe asbestosis may spread to other body parts. Many studies show that cigarette smoking influences the development of asbestosis. Smoking increases the retention of asbestos fibers, causing the disease to progress faster.

Mesothelioma

Causes

Mesothelioma is caused most of the time by asbestos exposure. It is important to distinguish that in asbestosis scar tissue develops in the lungs, while in mesothelioma, cancerous cells build up on body organs.

What causes mesothelioma?

  • Scientists are certain that Mesothelioma is caused by ASBESTOS EXPOSURE.
  • Similar to asbestosis, mesothelioma has a long latency period. Those exposed can be impacted decades later when symptoms eventually appear.

Where did you get exposed to asbestos?

  • Occupationally. Most cases of asbestosis develop in people exposed while on the job. Jobs involving asbestos exposure are most common in the field of construction, automotive, shipyard, and manufacturing industries.
  • Environmentally. Living in older residences that contain contaminated products or living near natural asbestos deposits causes exposure.
  • Secondarily. Coming in contact with someone contaminated causes exposure but does not lead to asbestosis.

Studies have not shown definite links between smoking and mesothelioma development. However, it is known that cigarettes contain toxic chemicals and at one point in time, Kent cigarettes contained asbestos in their filter. As in the case of asbestosis, smoking could influence the development of mesothelioma in lungs.