Skip to content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Asbestos Related Lung Cancer

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 107,000 people die annually from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.5 Of those three diseases, asbestos-related lung cancer takes the lives of 57,000 people every year.5

Asbestos Exposure in America

If you have been in close proximity to any asbestos-containing products or materials, you are at risk for developing asbestos-related lung cancer in the future. Most people are exposed to asbestos “in their workplace, their communities, or their homes.”2

Asbestos fibers were used in building materials, appliances, and other products for their heat resistant properties until the late 1970s when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned its use in several industries. However, it is still used today in some products, such as automobile clutches, brake pads, corrugated sheet, imported cement pipe, roofing materials, and vinyl tile.3

Smoking Is a Risk Factor for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

Smoking also increases your risk of developing asbestos-related lung cancer. The American Cancer Society found that in “workers exposed to asbestos who also smoke, the lung cancer risk is even greater than adding the risks from these exposures separately.”4

How Does Asbestos Cause Lung Cancer?

Asbestos exposure occurs when its “fibers are released into the air when friable asbestos-containing materials are disturbed.”3 If inhaled, some of these fibers “can reach the ends of the small airways in the lungs or penetrate into the outer lining of the lung and chest wall.”4 Over time, they can irritate the cells in the lung or pleura, causing lung cancer or mesothelioma to develop.4

Typically, asbestos-related lung cancer occurs “15 years after the first exposure to asbestos.”4 This type of lung cancer will develop faster if the victim was exposed to higher levels of asbestos and/or smoked cigarettes.

Linking Lung Cancer Diagnosis to Asbestos Exposure

In 1997, the Helsinki Criteria were established to help doctors determine when respiratory diseases are caused by asbestos. Both asbestos-related lung cancer and other types of lung cancer generally have similar symptoms (including persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest discomfort or pain, etc), so lung cancer cases must be further investigated to be linked with asbestos exposure. 1

For a lung cancer case to be diagnosed as asbestos-related, it must fit at least one criteria regarding the latency period and evidence of asbestos exposure. First, the lung cancer must have developed “ten years from the first asbestos exposure after the initial exposure to asbestos.”6

The patient may also have been diagnosed with asbestosis in the past. Their lungs typically have higher than normal levels of asbestos fibers in their lung tissue. They may have been exposed to greater than or equal to 25 fibers per milliliter of air a year.6

Diagnosed with an Asbestos-Related Disease? We Can Help

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group P.C. can help you get the consultation you deserve. Please call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. You can fill out our online contact form here. We will get back to you as soon as possible. A free no-obligation consultation is available as well.



Recent Blog Posts

How State Marijuana Legalization Affects Trucking Companies

How State Marijuana Legalization Affects Trucking Companies With more states legalizing recreational marijuana, more people are using marijuana on the job according to Quest Diagnostics, the largest drug-testing firm.  They have found that marijuana positive test rates have increased almost 24% among employees (including truck drivers) in the last five years. By the end of…
Cigarettes and Mesothelioma

The Link between Smoking and Mesothelioma You Didn’t Know About

Thanks to mass awareness campaigns, most know that smoking increases the chances of developing lung cancer later in life. But did you know that smoking is linked to pleural mesothelioma, too? Defining and identifying pleural mesothelioma Researchers have discovered that smoking and asbestos exposure combined significantly increase your chances of developing pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma…
Watch for Bicycles Sign

3 Most Common Types of Bike Accidents (+ 5 Bike Safety Tips Just for You!)

As the weather warms up in Illinois, more and more people take their bicycles out of storage and onto the street. We have handled a number of cases for injured bicyclists.  Due to the lack of protection for a bicyclist, bicycle accidents are particularly dangerous. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, over 3,000 crashes…