How long does it take for asbestos to affect you?

Asbestos is a dangerous material that has the potential to make a person very ill. The interesting thing about it is that you could be exposed for a long time before knowing that you're going to be affected negatively.

Asbestos has the potential to cause chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and other issues many decades after exposure. For most people, it's at least a decade before there are any signs of illness. Many don't know for at least 20 years. Some find out 40 or 50 years later. Everyone reacts differently, and the amount of exposure also plays a role in illness.

What is a common disease caused by asbestos exposure?

One common disease caused by exposure to asbestos is asbestosis. Asbestosis is a lung disease that results in symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of appetite and a persistent, dry cough. Some people notice enlarged fingertips and nail deformities.

Why does asbestos take so long to cause problems in the body?

The main reason is that it has to cause scarring before symptoms emerge. When you inhale the fibers, the asbestos embeds itself into the lungs. Then, the lungs react by forming scar tissue. The scar tissue takes time to form, and what may start as a minor scarred area could quickly expand and become a problem over the course of a decade or two. Once scarred, it becomes harder for the lungs to expand, which makes it harder for you to breathe.

No matter what kind of illness you have, if asbestos is the cause, you could have a right to a claim. Our site has more on the way asbestos hurts you.

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