Nature of Asbestos Poisoning and Its Symptoms

Asbestos poisoning can be any form of discomfort rooted to exposure to asbestos either through inhaling or swallowing fiber. Asbestos-related illnesses have been reported in large numbers in the last century up to date due to extreme usage of the mineral by many building and construction companies. It can be argued that most people who were exposed to asbestos were not aware of how dangerous the substance is as there was very little information warning against its use. Some reports however suggest that as early as the 18th century, some scientists had already blown the whistle but companies ignored primarily due to the huge benefits the mineral brought forth. 

Naturally, asbestos poisoning can be noted fifteen to fifty years after exposure because diseases linked with it may take so long to manifest, and when they do, they mimic symptoms of other common diseases like pneumonia, common cold, and even asthma. The mineral has not stopped to be used completely but its use has gone down drastically after relevant governments sounded a warning to companies using the same. Big number of culprits filing for asbestos compensation against employers has also played a massive role in ensuring companies use alternative materials.

Mining of asbestos began in the late eighteenth century and instantly became popular due its qualities. It was widely used in industries like building and construction, shipping and automobile. It is a mineral that can was used in many buildings as roofing, soundproofing and fireproofing because no other mineral was available for all those qualities in natural form.

Even after usage of asbestos has significantly reduced, there are still so many people at risk of asbestos poisoning after they were exposed many years back. The following categories of people are at a bigger risk of contracting asbestos-related ailments:


Workers of construction industries who handled materials bearing asbestos.

Laborers who worked in old buildings and house during renovation

Persons who directly removed asbestos materials from residential houses and other buildings

Shipyard laborer

Workers who were responsible for demolishing old ships that were to be disposed as scrap

Persons who resided near factories handling asbestos materials.

Individuals who may have handled workers clothing like during washing.

What made asbestos poisoning so hard to control is the nature of asbestos fibers that are too tiny to be seen through the naked eye. They are light and can be inhaled just like ordinary air and when they get patched in human’s lungs, they cause scarring and eventually growth of a tumor that distracts the lungs from receiving oxygen freely due to limited breathing space.

Exposure of asbestos is linked directly with three devastating respiratory illnesses namely; mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is not very common as the rest but it is very lethal. It is a malignant illness that affects the thin abdominal and lung membranes. Asbestosis on the other hand surfaces as a result of high absorption of asbestos fibers that pile in the lungs causing scarring. Lung cancer is the most common form of asbestos poisoning and may not be easily recognized as asbestos-related.

Common symptoms of asbestos poisoning

Real symptoms of asbestos diseases take a pretty long period of time to appear after victims have been exposed to asbestos. However, some cases (just a few) may show symptoms even in a few months time depending on how severe they are.

asbestos poisoning side effectsThey include;

Breathing difficulties

Lack of appetite

Weight loss



Recurring chest pains

Neck and facial swelling

Endless coughing

Loss of sleep

Irregular fevers

Sweating at night

It can be noted that all the above symptoms appear to be symptoms of other common diseases, but people are advised not to take them lightly. Although they may not always symbolize asbestos illnesses, immediate medical attention is suggested. Successful cancer cases were those that were reported on time.

How to diagnose asbestos poisoning

It is difficult to deduce the availability of an asbestos related disease just by looking at exhibiting symptoms because most of the signs and symptoms of asbestos-induced illnesses, if not all manifest themselves as other ordinary diseases. However, people can help situations out by being ultra-careful and noting any change in their health and seeking medical advice in good time. Below are some points that could be helpful to many people in their quest to deduce asbestos problems well in good time.


Look back at your job history and see if there is any point in time when you might have been exposed to asbestos fibers. In broken form, it can disperse easily without being seen or noticed due to its microscopic nature, subjecting innocent people to deadly lung cancer among other complications.  

Try assessing whether your symptoms are in any way linkable to being exposed to this substance, either by working directly in an asbestos factory, or through living under friable insulation. Remember that in most cases, asbestos poisoning does not clearly show signs until after a very long time. 

Read through all symptoms mentioned above and if there are any that you inhibit, do not rule out asbestos disease. Chromic cough and heavy breathing are some of the very first symptoms.

Listen for what comrades tell you about your voice. You might not notice your voice is hoarse because of the gradual change but your immediate counterparts will. This should not be taken as a light matter as it may come and disappear before getting worse.

Plan an appointment with a qualified physician preferable one who specializes with asbestos poisoning. Some cases of lung cancer and asbestosis can be controlled but if they are diagnosed early enough.

Once the physician has ascertained that your ailment has asbestos roots and you are able to trace the cause, you are well suited for asbestos litigation. Identify a good attorney who will advice you on the steps to follow. 

asbestos poisoning Living a Safe Life Free From Asbestos Siding