What is the Asbestos Disease Asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a lung disease characterized by inflamed and scarred tissue on the lungs which disrupts healthy and normal breathing. Asbestosis symptoms can take years, or even decades to manifest in those affected.

Asbestosis Definition

Asbestosis is a long-term chronic respiratory disease related to extended asbestos exposure. Asbestosis is developed by the ingestion of asbestos fibers into the lungs, exhibiting symptoms only years after asbestos exposure. Asbestosis is considered a type of pulmonary fibrosis, an illness where the lung tissue becomes scarred overtime. While asbestosis is not considered a cancer, medical research alleges that the disease can facilitate or cause a patient to develop lung cancer or mesothelioma at a later stage. 

Asbestosis Causes

Asbestosis can develop as a result of asbestos exposure in various settings, commonly in manufacturing, construction and automotive sectors. When asbestos fibers are agitated or disturbed, they become airborne and easily inhaled and ingested into the human body. These microscopic and sharp fibers become lodged in lung tissue and cause irritation, inflammation and scarring, which can lead to an eventual asbestosis diagnosis.

How Long Does It Take to Get Asbestosis?

Asbestosis can manifest after initial exposure at any point but has an increasing tendency to develop years after extended asbestos exposure. The latency period of asbestosis from asbestos exposure is 20 to 40 years but can be much shorter if the exposure was more frequent or long-term.

Asbestosis Symptoms

The symptoms of asbestosis are wide-ranging and can vary in intensity. Signs and symptoms of asbestosis include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath and restricted breathing
  • Frequent dry cough or wheezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Hypertension
  • Presence of blood in the respiratory tract
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Phalange deformity (uncommonly wide or rounded fingertips and toes)

Asbestosis Life Expectancy 

When patients are diagnosed with asbestosis, they are often unsure and anxious about its effect on their life expectancy. While this is determined on a case-by-case basis, an asbestosis prognosis considers the degree of exposure and the state of overall damage to the lungs. Asbestosis patients can live with the disease for many years and can procure a prolonged life expectancy with timely and effective treatment.

Asbestosis Treatment

Unfortunately, there is not a singular treatment for asbestosis that can cure the disease, as it is not possible to reverse any damage sustained in the lungs by asbestos. Asbestosis patients are often given treatments that remove excess fluid in the lungs, as well as undergo pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy, which attempt to manage and reduce the asbestosis symptoms. Doctors also recommend timely vaccine injections to decrease the probability of contracting pneumonia, the flu or other illnesses which can complicate the disease.

Who is at Risk of Asbestosis?

Anyone who has worked with or handled products made with asbestos materials on a regular basis is at risk of developing asbestosis. Workers in the automotive, construction, textile, or mining industries are most likely to endure asbestos exposure on the job, as asbestos products are commonplace in these sectors. More specifically, construction and renovation crews constitute a significant at-risk group due to the overabundance of asbestos in demolition, drywall, insulation and building materials.

Since asbestos fibers are microscopic and can persist on the skin, fabric or other equipment, anyone working with asbestos can facilitate second-hand exposure through transmission with anyone they are in close contact with.

If you have worked with asbestos and have subsequently been diagnosed with asbestosis or any other asbestos disease, call 833-716-0087 or fill out the form below so The Law Center can connect you with a premier asbestos attorney. Our skilled asbestos legal partners will fight to seek justice on your behalf by holding the negligent parties accountable, and to obtain compensation for your suffering. 

Asbestosis Prevention

Since asbestosis is the result of asbestos exposure, limiting or eliminating the use of asbestos materials is the single most effective way to prevent contracting the disease. Other preventive measures include the use of protective equipment, such as masks and respirators, when handling, removing or discarding materials thought to contain asbestos. Conducting asbestos exposure risk assessment before engaging in workplace activities such as renovation, construction or waste removal can determine at-risk areas and reduce the likelihood of asbestos exposure.

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma

Another common disease related to asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. While both diseases are developed as a result of inhaling asbestos fibers and share a prolonged latency period as well as many of the same symptoms, asbestosis and mesothelioma are distinct ailments. The main difference between asbestosis and mesothelioma is that mesothelioma is a cancerous disease. With the right treatment and management, patients suffering with asbestosis can live for many years. The prognosis is not as favorable for mesothelioma patients. A mesothelioma diagnosis often turns fatal within the year or after a few years at best.

Filing an Asbestosis Lawsuit 

Pursuing litigation as a result of an asbestosis diagnosis is common practice among asbestosis patients. Due to the fact that asbestos exposure often occurs through hazardous occupational environments and without proper warning or protection by their contract employers, many victims are eligible and entitled to financial damages. 

Preparing and filing an asbestosis lawsuit after an asbestosis diagnosis needs the guidance and assistance of a skilled asbestos attorney, as pursuing claims through the courts requires substantial familiarity with the specific and complex legal procedures of asbestos lawsuits. 

Am I Eligible for Compensation in an Asbestosis Lawsuit?

If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos and are suffering from asbestosis or another asbestos related disease, you may be entitled to receive compensation to cover any medical costs, lost wages, or other damages incurred from the asbestos disease. This eligibility depends on the ability to obtain proper labor and medical documentation proving the circumstances regarding exposure were negligent and preventable. The effectiveness of any available documentation is best assessed by specialized asbestos lawyers who have extensive experience in asbestos claims and lawsuits.

To be connected with a premier asbestosis attorney, call 833-716-0087 or fill out the form below.

Finding the Leading Asbestos Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been affected by asbestos exposure and have received an asbestosis diagnosis, it is important to find an asbestosis attorney to ensure proper legal protection. Individuals with asbestosis have legal rights and can be eligible to receive a settlement to compensate for treatment, rehabilitation and any other financial burdens involved in suffering from an asbestos related disease.

Environmental Litigation Group

A renowned and lauded law firm dedicated to representing victims of asbestosis and other asbestos related injuries is the Environmental Litigation Group (ELG). Their specialized team of attorneys have more than 20 years of experience handling hundreds of thousands of diverse cases involving exposure to asbestos and have secured settlements of more than $1.4 billion for their clients. As a trusted legal partner of The Law Center, the Environmental Litigation Group has not only helped their own clients seek justice and compensation, they have actively supported medical centers, clinical trials of advanced cancer treatments as well as non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing research on asbestos related diseases.

The Law Center

The Law Center aims to connect the wrongfully injured with the skilled legal professionals who are uniquely positioned to help the mistreated party. The Law Center’s trusted network of attorneys and specialized firms throughout the United States have noteworthy experience in representing clients who have been victims of asbestos related diseases, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Call The Law Center at 833-716-0087 or fill out the form below to connect with a premier legal partner who is standing by to help and accompany asbestos exposure victims on a path toward justice and healing.