3 Common Asbestos-Related Illnesses that are Not Cancer

Pulmonologist with stethoscope looking at an X-ray picture of lungs

Asbestos is most known for causing Mesothelioma. However, asbestos exposure can cause a myriad of health problems that are not cancer. From underlying respiratory issues to asbestosis, there is no shortage of illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. Below, we will discuss three common asbestos-related illnesses and the symptoms each cause.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is not lung cancer, but it can be deadly. Asbestosis is known for causing severe inflammation and scarring of the lungs. This prevents the lungs from relaxing regularly and expanding. Asbestosis caused shortness of breath, tightening of the chest, coughing, and fatigue. It is a very serious medical problem that is a contributing cause of death in many.

Pleural Effusions

Fluid buildup is a common symptom of asbestos exposure. Pleural effusions are caused when fluid builds up between the layers of the pleural membrane, causing fluid to increase in the chest cavity. The fluid can collect between the lungs and ribs, leading to major constriction of the lungs. Pleural effusions are not life-threatening, unless not treated. Pleural effusions can cause severe pain and problems breathing. The fluid will need to be drained to ensure the lungs can function correctly.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are widespread after asbestos exposure. Pleural plaques are calcified buildups around the pleural membrane. It is not a severe health problem but can lead to pain and trouble breathing. Pleural plaques have been markers in the development of Mesothelioma and lung cancer.

If you have trouble breathing, have a tight chest, and a cough, you should see a professional as soon as possible. This is even more critical if you believe you have been exposed to asbestos at some point in your life. Asbestos exposure causes major illnesses that can become worse over time, without the correct treatment plans. If you think your home has asbestos, contact Asbestos Abatement Services for a complete asbestos test and inspection!

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