Diseases Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Pleural mesothelioma (https://mesowatch.com/pleural-mesothelioma) — a variety of mesothelioma impacting the lungs — is perhaps the most well-known asbestos disease, but there are a number of other very serious conditions and diseases caused by asbestos exposure. There are also additional types of mesothelioma impacting other areas of the body, such as the peritoneum in the abdominal cavity and the gastrointestinal system.


Many mesothelioma (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelioma) patients also suffer from one of these other conditions, which can lead to health complications. In addition, individuals who have a disease from asbestos exposure may also qualify for similar benefits and even settlements from asbestos trust funds in cases where they can prove that their exposure was a direct result of their work for a company, the military or while working with an asbestos-contaminated product.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD is a serious lung disease involving emphysema and bronchitis which gets worse over time. Asbestos exposure causes COPD, which can result in breathing problems, chronic coughing and other respiratory ailments. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death amongst Americans and it’s often present in people who are also suffering from lung mesothelioma, asbestosis and other asbestos diseases.


Asbestosis (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000118.htm) is one condition that is exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. A serious lung disease, asbestosis symptoms include lung scarring (called fibrosis), coughing, shortness of breath, and a rattling sound when inhaling. This lung disease also makes you more likely to develop lung cancer, mesothelioma and other similar conditions caused by asbestos exposure.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a form of mesothelioma impacting the abdominal cavity. Asbestos exposure is the only known peritoneal mesothelioma cause. The mesothelioma prognosis is relatively poor and it is sometimes present alongside other forms of this disease, like pleural (lung) mesothelioma

Gastrointestinal Mesothelioma

Gastrointestinal mesothelioma is a form of mesothelioma cancer that impacts the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, large and small intestines, gallbladder, rectum and colon. Asbestos exposure is the most common cause of this type of mesothelioma, which can sometimes arise in connection with peritoneal and/or pleural mesothelioma. Gastrointestinal mesothelioma most often occurs when an individual swallows or ingests asbestos particles.

Pleurisy and Pleural Effusion

Pleurisy is an asbestos disease that causes inflammation of the pleura, a two-layer membrane inside the chest, which encloses the lungs. Many mesothelioma patients also suffer from pleurisy, which causes painful breathing.. Pleurisy can also be associated with pleural effusion, which involves an accumulation of excess fluid between the two membrane layers that comprise the pleura. Pleural effusion symptoms can include chest pain, tightness in the chest and a sensation of being out of breath.

Pleural Thickening

Pleural thickening (http://radiopaedia.org/articles/pleural-thickening) is a common asbestos exposure disease which can arise anywhere from 1 to over 30 years after exposure. Pleural thickening involves scarring of the pleural membranes that surround the lungs. This can restrict air intake, while also causing pain and discomfort. This asbestos disease can also complicate mesothelioma.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are fibrous growths on the pleura membrane that encloses the lungs and lines the inside of the rib cage. These plaques are linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure and they can occur following relatively minor asbestos exposure incidents. Some pleural plaques may calcify, forming rock hard masses which are benign and non-cancerous.

Rounded Atelectasis

Also known as folded lung syndrome or Blesovsky’s syndrome, Rounded Atelectasis (RA) is a condition whereby a portion of lung collapses and the visceral pleura membrane folds in on itself. This condition can interfere with your ability breathe. Atelectasis can occur in mesothelioma patients who’ve recently undergone surgery too. Individuals with pleural effusion are also vulnerable to developing atelectasis.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is one form of cancer that some believe may be linked to asbestos exposure. According to some studies, colorectal cancer rates have been found to be higher in individuals who work with asbestos, as they may ingest asbestos fibers, which in turn, get embedded in tissues and spur abnormal tissue growth that can ultimately become cancerous.