Asbestosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Asbestosis is a severe lung condition caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Exposure to asbestos causes scarring in the tissues of your lungs and results in irregular breath (shortness). The symptoms are also different (mild to severe), making it difficult to identify them for months, if not years. People who are continuously exposed to asbestos are prone to get a severe case of asbestosis sooner than others. 

Asbestos has been widely used in construction projects in Australia for years because of its unique qualities. But, after the government realised its danger to society, it was banned (in 2003) all over the country. You can still find several old houses which were built using asbestos. The only way to avoid these issues is to contact an agency/business that does Asbestos Removal in Sydney.

Asbestos is usually found in old buildings, and there are a lot of vintage style homes in Sydney. A middle ring house in this city was worth $155,000 in 1990, but today, a typical apartment costs $145,000. Real estate is doing well in Sydney, but if you are planning to buy a vintage home, you better call an asbestos removal agency to check the house for signs of asbestos. If they find the presence of the material, it will take a few days to remove it completely. There are many houses in Sydney in which you could find the presence of asbestos, and for the sake of you and your family's health, you must remove all of it immediately.

But how is asbestos harmful to your health, and how does it get into your lungs?


Materials such as roof, walls, flooring, etc., contain some forms of asbestos, and they tend to release the asbestos fibres when touched, rubbed, or scratched by something. But in some cases, when the materials get old/degenerate, it releases the fibre into the air continuously for a long period. And people who live in that house are likely to develop asbestosis.


The symptoms don't show up until 10 to 40 years after initial exposure. That's why it took several years for people to understand its harmful effects. The signs and symptoms of asbestosis are as follows:

1. Shortness of breath

2. Dry cough for an extended period

3. Weight loss and loss of appetite

4. Chest pain or tightness

5. Fingertips and toes start to appear wider and rounder than usual.

If these symptoms become severe, you should consult a doctor immediately. And you should find an agency with expertise in asbestos removal in Sydney.

Who is/are affected the most by asbestosis?

People working in the following fields (from the 1970s) are most likely to come in contact with asbestos.

1. Boiler operators

2. People in construction 

3. Electricians

4. Asbestos miners

5. Aircraft and auto mechanics

6. People who work in the removal of asbestos insulation around steam pipes in old houses

7. Shipyard employees

8. Railroad workers

9. Refinery and mill employees


The only/best way to handle this issue is to reduce your asbestos exposure. In the UK and the USA, federal law requires workers in industries that deal with asbestos materials such as construction to follow special safety measures. It is now mandatory in Australia too, and workers who do asbestos removal in Sydney need to follow these rules.

Houses, colleges, and other buildings built before the 1970s have floor tiles, pipes, and roof materials containing asbestos. And as long as the asbestos is enclosed in something or is undisturbed, the risk is low, but it is advised to remove asbestos from these buildings as soon as possible.