Asbestosis is a condition affecting the lungs that is caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibers. The disease leads to the development of fibrosis (scarring) in the lungs and pleura. While there is no cure for asbestosis, it can be managed with treatment.
Who does asbestosis affect?
Asbestosis is more likely if you are frequently exposed to asbestos. If handling materials containing asbestos is part of your job, you have an increased risk. occupations that may involve asbestos include:
- miners, installers, or removers of asbestos
- mechanics for autos and aircrafts
- construction workers
- electrical workers
- railroad and shipyard workers
Even if you don’t work with asbestos, you could be at risk if you live with someone who comes home from one of these jobs with dust or fibers on their clothing. You can also be at risk of exposure if you’re near a demolition site or an asbestos mine.
Most that contract asbestosis have inhaled asbestos particles while they were at work before the 1970s when the U.S. government enacted the regulations necessary to limit the asbestos exposures at workplaces.
Nowadays, as long as safety regulations are followed, it is not likely to contract asbestosis. However, it should be noted that asbestosis can take a long time to appear. Therefore, doctors sometimes diagnose asbestosis in people who acquired the disease many years ago.
What is the cause of asbestosis?
Asbestosis is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers or dust. Over time, this leads to the thickening and scarring of your lungs and pleura.
Breathing in asbestos particles in the air can cause asbestosis. However, undisturbed asbestos, such as in insulation or tile, does not increase your risk of the disease.
in the past, manufacturing and building industries used to employ asbestos widely for an array of uses. As a result, some have contracted asbestosis after continuously inhaling the asbestos particles while at a workplace in these industries.
Materials and products that may contain asbestos include:
- Car clutch pads and brake linings.
- Construction cement, putties and plaster.
- Pipe wrapping.
- Siding and roof shingles.
- Vinyl floor tiles.