Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs. The condition is incurable, but treatment is available to help manage the symptoms. Asbestosis is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a general term that is used to refer to a group of minerals made up of long, crystal fibres. It is unusually strong and fire resistant, and was widely used throughout the 20th century in the construction, building, and manufacturing industries to make a wide range of products from brake pads to ceiling tiles.

Products that contain asbestos are all around us. In the United States, the peak years for the manufacture of products that contain asbestos were about 1940 to 1975. In the 1960s the toxicity of products that contain asbestos finally became widely acknowledged, but it wasn't until 1970 that federal laws started to limit the many uses of asbestos. Even so, many commonly used products still contain asbestos, and the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties of asbestos in these products have caused an epidemic of respiratory and other cancers including mesothelioma cancer. If undamaged, asbestos does not present a health risk. However, if it becomes chipped, or broken, asbestos can release a fine dust made up of tiny asbestos fibres. If someone breathes in the dust, the fibres can damage the lungs and trigger asbestosis.

list of products that contain asbestos

The asbestosis symptoms usually begin many years after the initial exposure. Most cases of asbestosis begin 15-20 years after exposure, although it can take as many as 40 years for symptoms to become apparent.
People with extensive occupational exposure to the mining, manufacturing, handling or removal of asbestos are at risk of developing asbestosis. There is also an increased risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestosis and lung cancer require prolonged exposure to asbestos. However, cases of mesothelioma have been documented with even 1-3 months of exposure, and only indirect exposure (through airventilation system.) In most cases asbestosis symptoms do not become apparent until 5-10 years after the initial exposure to the material.
The importance of early diagnosis for asbestosis patients cannot be overemphasized. If you have a history of asbestos exposure—whether from a workplace, your home, or at a public building such as a school—it's in your best interest to consult your doctor even if you have no symptoms of asbestosis or other asbestos-caused disease.

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