Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition that causes breathing disorders and can lead to severe scaring of the lungs and certain types of lung cancers. Even though asbestosis can lead to certain types of lung cancers, the disease itself is a noncancerous progressive disease that can obstruct normal lung function and hamper breathing. Asbestosis is caused by the buildup of asbestos fibers in the lining of the lungs. The amassing of these fibers in the lungs of a victim can seriously reduce breathing capacity. This progressive disease will steadily worsen once it has invaded the lungs causing the victim's lungs to deteriorate over time. This type of personal injury is oftent he focus of personal injury lawsuits.
People that are exposed to asbestos for long periods are more likely to develop asbestosis and the most current cases are the result of on-the-job exposure prior to the federal government's efforts to regulate and restrict the use of asbestos. A person may be exposed to asbestos for a long time and not develop asbestosis or any other asbestos related disease. In fact, most of the fatal diseases that can develop from exposure to asbestos can take upwards of thirty years to show visible signs or symptoms. Asbestosis is only one of the fatal diseases that a person exposed to asbestos can develop; an exposed victim may also be susceptible to lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The asbestos products in use now are specially treated and sealed to eliminate the risk of asbestosis.
Symptoms of asbestosis can include:
Asbestos dust can cling to individuals and their clothing and this can lead to secondary exposure to asbestos and asbestosis without ever having worked or being directly exposed to asbestos. Asbestosis can result from a family member doing the laundry of a person that works or has worked with asbestos.
For more information on asbestosis and the dangers of asbestos exposure, please refer to the Agency for Toxic Substances and disease registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Should you or a family member develop asbestosis from contact with asbestos because of employment or secondary exposure to asbestos dust, you should consult with an asbestos injury lawyer to find out what your options are for compensation and future treatment.