II. Background

  1. Smallest, naturally occurring fiber
  2. Asbestos used industrially until 1970s in U.S.
    1. Aeronautics materials
    2. Electrical product lining
    3. Shipping materials
    4. Brake linings and clutch pads
    5. Building materials
  3. Asbestos Exposures continue today
    1. Building demolition and Asbestos removal
    2. Asbestos or vermiculite mines
  4. Asbestos risks have been known for >100 years
    1. First linked to lung disease in 1890
    2. Exposure legislation in United Kingdom as of 1931
    3. Exposure legislation in United States as of 1971

III. Pathophysiology

  1. Exposure occurs with Asbestos fiber inhalation
  2. Consequences of Asbestos Exposure delayed 10-40 years

IV. Complications

  1. Asbestosis (fibrotic lung disease)
  2. Mesothelioma
  3. Pleural Plaques
  4. Pleural Effusions
    1. Unilateral, exudative Pleural Effusions
    2. Asbestos-related is diagnosis of exclusion
      1. Consider Tuberculosis, Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer
  5. Lung Cancer
    1. Tobacco use increases risk dramatically
    2. Asbestos-related Lung Cancer deaths: >2000/year U.S.
    3. Observe for non-calcified lesions on XRay
    4. Types
      1. Non-small cell and small cell
      2. Mesothelioma (appears same as Lung Cancer on XRay)

V. Risk factors: Asbestos related disease

  1. Several months of significant Asbestos Exposure and
  2. Clinical presentation at least 10 years later

VI. Management

  1. No specific management
  2. Tobacco Cessation

VII. Monitoring

  1. ATS recommends repeat Chest XRay every 3-5 years

VIII. Resources

Images: Related links to external sites (from Bing)

Related Studies (from Trip Database) Open in New Window

Ontology: Asbestos (C0003947)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals with long, thin fibers. It was once used widely as insulation. It also occurs in the environment. Asbestos fibers are so small you can't see them. If you disturb asbestos, the fibers can float in the air. This makes them easy to inhale, and some may become lodged in the lungs.

If you breathe in high levels of asbestos over a long period of time, the fibers can build up in the lungs. This causes scarring and inflammation, and can affect breathing. Eventually it can lead to diseases such as

  • Asbestosis, or scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe
  • Mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs or abdomen
  • Lung cancer

Lung diseases associated with asbestos usually develop over many years. People who become ill from asbestos are usually exposed on the job over long periods of time. Smoking cigarettes increases the risk.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Definition (NCI) One of a number of fibrous magnesium and calcium silicate minerals processed for thermal insulation and fireproofing. Asbestos is considered to be an environmental carcinogen; chronic inhalation of fine asbestos dust causes pulmonary asbestosis and may induce lung neoplasms. Chronic ingestion of asbestos may induce gastrointestinal neoplasms. (NCI04)
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) A group of minerals that take the form of tiny fibers. Asbestos has been used as insulation against heat and fire in buildings. Loose asbestos fibers breathed into the lungs can cause several serious diseases, including lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma (cancer found in the lining of the lungs, chest, or abdomen). Asbestos that is swallowed may cause cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.
Definition (MSH) Asbestos. Fibrous incombustible mineral composed of magnesium and calcium silicates with or without other elements. It is relatively inert chemically and used in thermal insulation and fireproofing. Inhalation of dust causes asbestosis and later lung and gastrointestinal neoplasms.
Definition (CSP) fibrous incombustible mineral composed of magnesium and calcium silicates with or without other elements; it is relatively inert chemically and has been used in thermal insulation and fireproofing; inhalation of dust causes asbestosis and later lung and gastrointestinal neoplasms.
Concepts Hazardous or Poisonous Substance (T131) , Inorganic Chemical (T197)
MSH D001194
SnomedCT 16369005
LNC LP18896-8, MTHU017387, LA15923-8
English Asbestos, Asbestos [Chemical/Ingredient], asbestos fiber, asbestos fibers, asbestos, Asbestos (substance), Asbestos fibers, Asbestos fibres, Asbestos fibers, NOS, Asbestos, NOS
Swedish Asbest
Czech azbest, osinek
Finnish Asbesti
French Asbeste, Amiante
Russian ASBEST, АСБЕСТ
Croatian AZBEST
Spanish Asbestos, Amiantos, Asbesto, Amianto, amianto (sustancia), amianto, asbestos, fibras de amianto, fibras de asbestos
Portuguese Asbestos, Asbesto, Amianto, Amiantos
Polish Azbest
Norwegian Asbest
German Asbest
Italian Asbesto

Ontology: Exposure to asbestos (C0003948)

Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
SnomedCT 699373005
Dutch blootstelling aan asbest
German Asbestexposition
Italian Esposizione ad asbesto
Portuguese Exposição a asbesto
Spanish Exposición a asbesto, exposición a amianto (evento), exposición a amianto
Japanese アスベストバクロ, アスベスト曝露
English Asbestos Exposure, asbestos exposure, Exposure to asbestos, Exposure to asbestos (event), Asbestos exposure
Czech Vystavení účinkům azbestu
Hungarian Azbeszt expozíció
French Exposition à l'amiante