DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Airways and air sacs of the lungs|
Asbestosis (as-bes-TOE-sis) is a breathing disorder caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged accumulation of these fibers in your lungs can cause scarring of lung tissue and shortness of breath. Asbestosis symptoms can range from mild to severe, and usually don't appear until many years after exposure.
Asbestos is a natural mineral product that's resistant to heat and corrosion. It was used extensively in the past in products such as insulation, fire-retardant materials, cement, and some vinyl floor tiles.
Most people with asbestosis acquired it on the job before the federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the mid-1970s. Today, its handling is strictly regulated. Acquiring asbestosis is extremely unlikely if you follow your employer's safety procedures. Treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms.
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