How to Spot Asbestosis: The Warning Signs

Asbestosis is a condition caused by asbestos fibres when they are inhaled. The symptoms of the condition are very similar to other respiratory problems, so suffers do not always receive treatment straight away.

We’ve put together a list of the common warning signs of asbestosis so you can be on the lookout for these symptoms if you think you or someone you know has come into contact with asbestos at some point in their life.

Shortness of breath

One of the top symptoms of asbestosis, shortness of breath occurs as a direct result of inhaling asbestos fibres over long periods of time. The fibres restrict lung movement, causing sufferers to become more tired easily.

asbestosis diagram
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Bloated stomach

The asbestos toxins can disrupt natural bodily processes, including in the abdomen. Fluid can build up causing bloating and tenderness and a loss of appetite.


Asbestos fibres can increase the blood pressure, causing fluid to build up around the heart and lungs. This can present as swelling around the neck and face.

Crackling breathing

Asbestosis causes scarring in the lungs and therefore prevents oxygen from entering the bloodstream efficiently. This can cause a crackling noise when a person inhales, which will leave them short of breath.

If you notice any of these symptoms on yourself or a family member or friend, you or they should see a doctor as soon as possible.

The quicker the diagnosis, the more effective the treatment will be. As these symptoms can also manifest themselves in a number of other conditions, it’s worth seeing a doctor just to rule out asbestosis.

Remember, asbestos is not harmful until it has been broken or removed, when the spores become airborne. It is very unlikely that people with undisturbed asbestos in their homes would contract asbestosis, but asbestos should still be removed from properties.

This guide of symptoms is not medical advice. If you have any concerns always see a doctor.

Emily Rivers

Emily Rivers is the Customer Experience Manager at Quotatis. She informs customers of the latest developments in a range of products so they can make the best choice for their homes and ensures they get the best out of our service.