Asbestosis is a disease that involves the slow, chronic scarring of lung tissue (specifically, the parenchymal tissue of the lungs). Asbestosis is caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust or fibers, and is most common among workers who have experienced extensive asbestos exposure through manufacturing, mining, removal, or handling of asbestos.
Amphibole fibers – a straight, thin form of asbestos – are the most prevalent fibers that cause asbestosis. Their shape and size allow them to penetrate deep into the lung’s air sacs. Once there, the amphiboles provoke your body’s immune system, attracting defensive cells called macrophages that surround and try to digest the fibers. Amphiboles also stimulate your lungs’ fibroblast cells, prompting them to create fibrous connective tissue in order to “heal” the wounds caused by the asbestos fibers. This leads to the continual creation of scar tissue over time, reducing your lungs’ ability to take in oxygen and successfully remove carbon dioxide.
Symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Chest pain
- Blood in the sputum
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling in the face or neck
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact The Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP today or call (410) 625-9330 to speak with one of our experienced Baltimore asbestos attorneys.