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Asbestos exposure: Is asbestosis the same as mesothelioma?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | Asbestos |

Simply put, no. Although symptoms and prognosis are similar, asbestosis exposure and mesothelioma are two different health conditions.

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium that lines the lungs, abdomen or heart. It arises after years of decades of exposure to asbestos dust. Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos particles. It can take many years for the condition to manifest symptoms.

People often need to know the two diseases are different to ensure they receive the proper treatment for an asbestos-related illness.

More about asbestosis

Like mesothelioma, asbestosis usually develops through prolonged exposure to airborne asbestos dust and fibers. When inhaled, these tiny particles penetrate, irritate and scar lung tissue, leading to asbestosis. It is a progressive condition that can worsen over time.

There are several facts you should know about asbestosis:

  • Asbestosis is incurable, but treatment provides relief and slows symptoms.
  • Other terms associated with asbestosis are pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.
  • Asbestos exposure is the only cause of asbestosis.
  • The severity of the condition depends on the amount and length of your exposure.
  • Those with asbestosis have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma or other lung cancer.

Despite worldwide knowledge of asbestos-related health risks, many U.S. industries (shipbuilding, automotive, etc.) still use this dangerous mineral. Further, many sites in Washington state are known or suspected to be contaminated with asbestos and other hazards.

Those suffering from occupational mesothelioma or asbestosis may obtain compensation by exploring their legal options. The restitution you receive ensures you get the medical care necessary to improve your quality of life.