Asbestosis is a lung condition that arises when miniature asbestos fibers are breathed in and end up lodged in the bronchi in the lungs which results to scarring. Inhalation of the asbestos fibers can cause the pleura to thicken or allow the growth of tumors in the pleura or in the sac that lines that abdomen.
After some time, the scars from asbestosis can cause the lungs to stiffen, which causes difficulty breathing. Around 15% of cases eventually result to death due to respiratory failure.
Close look on asbestos
Asbestos is a group of durable natural mineral fibers with fire and chemical-resistant properties. Due to these features, asbestos has been used as a strengthening component in plastics and cements as well as a material for fireproofing, insulation and sound absorption.
Thousands of products contain or have included asbestos such as:
- Piping and furnace insulation materials
- Floor tiles, backing of vinyl sheet flooring and floor tile adhesives
- Cement shingles, siding and roofing materials
- Electrical wire casings
- Joint and patching compound
- Decorative or soundproofing materials
- Fireproof gloves, fabrics and stove-top pads
- Artificial ashes and embers utilized in gas-powered fireplaces
- Automobile linings, brake pads, gaskets and clutch facings
- Some paints, plastics, adhesives and coatings
- Some vermiculite-containing insulation materials and garden products
Management of asbestosis
Even today, there is no available cure for asbestosis. Nevertheless, the shortness of breath that it causes can be alleviated with oxygen therapy.
In some instances, a lung transplant might be suggested by the doctor. As for individuals with the condition who smoke, they are encouraged to stop or quit to lower the risk for developing lung cancer.