Understanding, Managing, and Living with the

Health Effects of Asbestos

Asbestosis and Asbestos

December 25, 2013

New Orleans, LA When it comes to asbestos exposure lawsuits, health problems such as mesothelioma and lung cancer tend to get most of the attention, but asbestosis is also a serious condition linked to asbestos exposure. Similar to lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos disease affects the patient’s lungs, severely restricting the patient’s ability to breathe.

Asbestos exposure has been in the news recently due to a lawmaker’s lawsuit against 70 plaintiffs alleging her exposure to asbestos, through her father and brother who worked around the material, caused lung cancer. The issue is that the plaintiff also reportedly smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, which could also be a factor in her development of lung cancer. Just because she may have contributed to her development of lung cancer does not mean that all asbestos-related claims are suspect.

According to the Mayo Clinic, asbestosis is caused by prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibers, which causes scarring of the patient’s lung tissue. Symptoms often do not appear until years after exposure, which is why people who worked with it in the 1960’s and 1970’s may just be experiencing its effects today.

Symptoms of asbestosis, which might not appear until up to 30 years after initial exposure, include shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain, and finger clubbing. People who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos over a long period and develop these symptoms should see a doctor. As asbestosis progresses, it can become more and more difficult to breathe.

Lawsuits have been filed against many companies in a variety of industries, alleging people were exposed to asbestos without proper warning about the risks or proper protection. Furthermore, people who were exposed to asbestos fibers on their loved one’s clothing and reportedly developed lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma are also filing lawsuits. Finally, people exposed to asbestos contamination in the ground or in buildings are also filing lawsuits.

There are laws governing how asbestos is handled and how it is disposed of. Although these laws have had an impact on the amount of exposure to asbestos, there are still companies and employers that attempt to skirt the rules, putting their employees and the general population at risk of serious health problems.