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Asbestos Related Lung Disease

By Clare Westwood

If you have previously come into contact with asbestos or worked in an environment where asbestos has been present you may have an increased chance of developing asbestosis.

You may have previously heard of the term ‘asbestos lungs’ as this is a common term for the lungs of an asbestosis sufferer. Symptoms of asbestosis begin to surface around fifteen to twenty years after the initial exposure occurs. Often some of the symptoms begin gradually and become more severe over months and years, with shortness of breath being the most common.

The shortness of breath just occur after physical activity at first but then begin happening when you are at rest eventually.

Another common symptom associated with asbestosis is chest pain. It is a good idea to get chest pain checked by your doctor in order to make sure it is not related to your heart.

Coughs are usually always present in the early stages of asbestosis and they usually do not clear up, unlike normal coughs..

Another symptom which is slightly less common is that the ends of the fingers become swollen and red due to a build up of fluid in the tissues. This symptom is known as finger clubbing and is much less common than the other symptoms.

A medical history will be taken and your GP will want to know whether you have been exposed to asbestos and if so how long you were exposed for. Questions will also be asked surrounding the safety precautions (if any) that were taken. Your GP will ask you about the symptoms you are experiencing and probably listen to your chest using a stethoscope. If you are suffering from asbestosis then the doctor will hear a distinctive crackling noise as you exhale.

If Asbestosis is suspected then the following three tests will be conducted – a spirometer test which measures how much oxygen you can inhale in relation to how much carbon dioxide you exhale. X-rays may be taken of your lungs and chest. If asbestos is expected to be in its early stages then a CT scan may be carried out in order to get a detailed picture of the lungs.

Hattons solicitors St Helens can help with any asbestosis claims.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Westwood, Clare "Asbestos Related Lung Disease." Asbestos Related Lung Disease. 17 Aug. 2010. 9 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Westwood, C (2010, August 17). Asbestos Related Lung Disease. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Westwood, Clare "Asbestos Related Lung Disease"

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