What are the health risks of asbestos exposure?

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If a person is exposed to asbestos, he or she may not realize that it can cause significant health problems. Some of the effects of exposure may not be immediately apparent, but there are signs an individual can look for.

Asbestos exposure overview

When a person inhales asbestos fibers, it can cause him or her to suffer from chronic lung disease including shortness of breath and tissue scarring. This can also occur if the individual inhales asbestos dust over a long period of time. It causes the lungs to stop contracting and expanding normally.

Symptoms can also include a constant dry cough, chest pain, chest tightness, dry lungs and abnormalities in the individual’s fingers and toes. Sometimes, these symptoms do not appear for many years after exposure.


Although modern rules regulate the use of asbestos, workers who were exposed to asbestos before the late 1970s may be especially susceptible to this disease. These include miners, mechanics, construction workers, electricians and workers in shipyards, refineries and mills. These workers can also develop lung cancer after years of exposure to asbestos.

Individuals may also be surprised to know that they can be affected by secondhand asbestos exposure. If a worker had asbestos on his or her clothes and brought it home, his or her family members could also be impacted.

In addition to the physical symptoms the individual may experience, the medical treatment for asbestos exposure be very expensive. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of the exposure and pursue a claim for compensation on the individual’s behalf.

Contact The Firm

Representing asbestos and mesothelioma clients throughout the Northwest.

520 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101

1355 NW Everett St.
Suite 100
Portland, OR 97204

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