Asbestos Diseases/Poisoning Symptoms

What are the Symptoms of Asbestos Related Diseases?

If you regularly breathe in air which contains asbestos fibres over a prolonged period of time then it can lead to asbestos-related diseases. Unlike most diseases, however, asbestos-related illnesses don’t develop until many years after the initial exposure – anywhere from 15-60 years later- which can make them difficult (near-impossible, even) to detect until it’s too late.

One, short exposure to asbestos is unlikely to do any lasting damage, but for people whose work involves regular exposure to damaged or disturbed asbestos containing materials (ACMs), the risks are much higher and much more severe.

Asbestos is known to be a Category 1 carcinogen, meaning that the substance is proven to cause cancer amongst humans. Recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive estimate that over 3,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases, mainly from mesothelioma and asbestosis.

But what are the symptoms of these fatal asbestos-related diseases?

Symptoms of mesothelioma Symptoms of asbestosis
Chest or lower back pain
A persistent cough
Shortness of breath
High temperature or fever
Excessive sweating
Loss of appetite or weight loss
Difficulty swallowing
Swollen fingertips, arms or face
Stomach pain
Nausea and/or vomiting
Diarrhoea or constipation
A persistent cough
Shortness of breath
Chest pain or tightness
Loss of appetite
Symptoms of asbestos-related lung cancer Symptoms of non-malignant pleural disease
A persistent cough
Difficulty breathing
Shortness of breath
Persistent fatigue
Persistent chest pain
Coughing up blood
Chest infections
Weight loss or loss of appetite
Swollen fingers, neck or face
Pain on one side of the chest
Pain when breathing, sneezing or coughing

These lists of symptoms are not definitive and many diseases show different symptoms in their early stages or develop as the condition progresses. If you possess any of the listed symptoms and are concerned about them then it’s important that you speak to a GP straight away and inform them of any exposure to asbestos you’ve had in the past, no matter how long ago.