Health Effects

Exposure to asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease

Health Effects From Expose To Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos increase your risk of developing lung disease. That risk is made worse by smoking. In general, the greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.

Disease symptoms may take many years to develop following exposure.

Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare provider usually identify the possibility of asbestos exposure and related health conditions like lung disease by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person medical, work, cultural, and environmental history.

After a doctor suspects an asbestos-related health condition, he or she can use a number of tools to help make the actual diagnosis. Some of these tools are physical examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats diseases caused by asbestos.

Three Of The Major Health Effect Associated With Asbestos Exposure Are:

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, which can be caused by a number of inhaled carcinogens, including asbestos, is a malignant tumour in the lungs’ air passages. Like mesothelioma, lung cancer does not require a threshold of exposure before ill effects occur. The synergistic effect of asbestos exposure and smoking can increase the risk of lung cancer by at least 50 times. Symptoms include a chronic cough, breathlessness, chest pain, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), hoarseness of the voice and wheezing.


Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs (pleura) and abdominal organs (peritoneum). Persons diagnosed with this disease usually have a short survival span. It does not normally require a threshold of exposure before ill effects occur, however the risk of contracting mesothelioma generally increases with the frequency, duration and level of exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include weight loss, fever, night sweats, chest pain and breathlessness on exertion.


Asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue which leads to decreased lung volume and increased resistance in the airways. It is normally associated with high levels of exposure for many years. Symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, tiredness and nausea.