Asbestos exposure is directly linked to serious lung disease, two of the most common lung diseases being asbestosis and mesothelioma. Both types of asbestos lung diseases are caused by the inhaling of asbestos into the lungs, and both types of asbestos lung disease show similar symptoms: shortness of breath or wheezing; a persistent cough, chest pain or tightening in the chest; fatigue, loss of appetite and even weight loss.
However, it is important to note that because asbestos lung disease symptoms take anywhere from 10 to 40 years to surface, the disease itself may go undetected and untreated. If you have been exposed to asbestos, share a household with, or are a family member of someone who is in a high risk occupation and are concerned that you may have asbestos lung disease, please see your doctor immediately.
Among the highest at-risk occupations for developing asbestos lung disease include:
- Aircraft and auto mechanics
- Building construction workers
- Shipyard workers
- Boiler operators
- Building engineers
- Railroad workers
Additionally, the risk for asbestos-related lung diseases is greater if you've been exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and if you've had direct contact with asbestos during that time. More lung disease information is available throughout our website.