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There are other debilitating conditions that result from asbestos

When it comes to asbestos-related illnesses, most people think about mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer caused primarily by exposure to the toxic substance. However, not all exposure to asbestos exposure results in this cancer.

Your exposure to asbestos could result in a condition called asbestosis. However, its symptoms mimic those of other conditions, so it is imperative that your doctor knows about your exposure in order to reach the proper diagnosis, which in turn, leads to the proper treatments.

Not sure if you are at risk?

Even though the use of asbestos dropped significantly by the late 1970s, the condition may just now make an appearance. Moreover, if you work in certain professions, such as construction, you could still find yourself exposed to asbestos. If you question whether you are at risk for contracting asbestosis, the following materials and products may lead to asbestos exposure both now and in the past:

  • Siding and roofing shingles
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Steam and hot water pipe wrapping
  • Insulation for walls, attics, coal and oil furnaces, door gaskets and wood-burning stoves
  • Cement, plaster, putties and caulk for ceilings and walls
  • Brake linings
  • Automobile clutch pads
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Adhesives
  • The backing on vinyl sheet flooring

If you worked, or work, with any of the above, you may end up inhaling asbestos dust or fibers.

Not sure if your symptoms fit asbestosis?

If you know or suspect that you were exposed to asbestos, the following symptoms may point to asbestosis:

  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite with weight loss
  • A persistent dry cough
  • A dry crackling sound when you breathe in
  • Rounder and wider fingertips and toes
  • Chest pain

If you experience these symptoms, you may want to see your doctor; he or she can refer you to a pulmonologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

What happens next?

More than likely, your diagnosis and condition will change how you live. You may not be able to do things that you enjoyed before. If you still work, your condition may make that impossible. You will also need medical care for your condition. Is it possible to seek compensation for your condition since it arose from work-related asbestos exposure?

The answer to that question is probably, yes. However, cases involving asbestos-related illnesses are often complex. You may benefit from a full evaluation of your case in order to determine your rights and legal options.

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