Asbestos is a durable mineral made up of microscopic fibers that causes lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases. Millions of people were exposed to asbestos in various products as companies hid the health risks for decades. If you suffered asbestos exposure and are now sick, our team may be able to help you get financial compensation.

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What Is Asbestos?

A man works on a construction site. White tape saying "WARNING ASBESTOS REMOVAL KEEP OUT" can be seen. The man is wearing a protective mask.Asbestos is a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) that’s heat-resistant, durable, and a good insulator. Many companies added asbestos to thousands of products due to these properties.

However, asbestos products become incredibly dangerous when they break down and release fibers into the air that you can inhale. Your body may have trouble removing or destroying the fibers since they’re so strong. Over time, asbestos fibers can cause irritation that leads to life-threatening health problems like lung cancer.

Did You Know?

As early as the 1930s, companies that made and sold asbestos-containing products knew the health hazards. However, they concealed the truth for decades and made billions in the process.

Over 27 million people had been exposed to asbestos by the time the health risks became well-known in the early 1980s. An estimated 40,000 Americans die from asbestos-related diseases each year.

It’s key to put your health first if you have gotten sick from asbestos exposure. Lung Cancer Group can help you get compensation for medical costs and other bills if eligible. Get started right now with a free case review.

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Asbestos-Related Diseases

People exposed to asbestos could develop any number of illnesses 10-50 years later, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Learn about the most notable asbestos-related diseases below.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Roughly 8,000 to 10,000 people die of asbestos lung cancer every year.

Asbestos can cause lung cancer if fibers get stuck in your lungs. The fibers settle into lung tissue, irritating it for decades. This damage can eventually cause healthy cells to turn cancerous.

Though smoking accounts for most cases of lung cancer, asbestos worsens the damage that cigarette smoke does to the lungs.

“Smokers who are also exposed to asbestos have a risk of developing lung cancer that is greater than the individual risks from asbestos and smoking added together.”

— National Cancer Institute (NCI)

While asbestos-related lung cancer is very aggressive, it’s possible to live for 15 years or more with the right treatment. Jim was diagnosed with advanced asbestos lung cancer in 2005 but is still alive today after receiving surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.


The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. You can develop mesothelioma if asbestos fibers get stuck in the lining of your lungs, heart, abdomen, or testicles.

About 3,000 people develop mesothelioma each year. There’s currently no cure for the cancer, but treatments can help those diagnosed live longer. Some mesothelioma patients have lived for 15 years or more thanks to the medical care they received from top doctors.

Other Asbestos-Related Cancers

Asbestos exposure can lead to a number of different cancers besides mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Other asbestos cancers include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Throat cancer

Financial compensation may be available if you or a loved one has an asbestos-related cancer. Call (877) 446-5767 now to learn more.


Asbestosis is a chronic condition in which the lungs stiffen over time. Like mesothelioma, the only known cause of this disease is exposure to asbestos.

Asbestosis is not a form of cancer, but it’s still very dangerous. You may suffer from symptoms like difficulty breathing and chest pain because of the damage to your lungs from asbestos fibers.

You could also develop lung cancer or mesothelioma while having asbestosis.

Other Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Cancers and asbestosis are just a few of the many health problems linked to asbestos exposure.

Other asbestos diseases include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Asbestos can damage the lungs, impairing their ability to work properly and leading to COPD.
  • Pleural effusion: This is a buildup of fluid in the lining of the lungs (pleura) that causes shortness of breath and chest pain. Mesothelioma patients often suffer from pleural effusions.
  • Pleural plaque: Collagen (a protein made by the body) builds up around asbestos fibers in the pleura to form pleural plaque. The plaque is harmless and causes no symptoms.
  • Other pleural diseases: Pleural thickening, pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura), and pneumothorax (collapsed lung) can all stem from asbestos exposure.

Types of Asbestos

A closeup shot of beige and grey asbestos fibers.There are six types of asbestos fibers. All forms of asbestos can put you at risk of lung cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

Each type belongs to one of two groups: amphibole and serpentine. Learn about the types and groups below.

Amphibole Asbestos

Five of the six types of asbestos are part of the amphibole group. The asbestos fibers in the amphibole group are straight and sharp.

Types of amphibole asbestos include:
  • Actinolite asbestos: This type has a dark color and was once used to make insulation materials, drywall, cement, and more.
  • Amosite asbestos: Also known as brown asbestos, amosite asbestos was used in tile, roofing, gaskets, cement, and many kinds of insulation.
  • Anthophyllite asbestos: This type is yellow or brown in color. It was only used in some types of cement and insulation since it was less common than the other types.
  • Crocidolite asbestos: Also known as blue asbestos, this type was rarely used as it wasn’t as fire-resistant as the other types. It was sometimes used in tiles, insulation, and cement.
  • Tremolite asbestos: Tremolite asbestos was highly resistant to heat, so it was often used in insulation, paint, plumbing materials, and more. This type has different colors, including milky white and green. It may have also polluted talcum powder since talc and tremolite are found alongside each other in rock deposits.

Serpentine Asbestos

The only type of asbestos that belongs to the serpentine family is chrysotile asbestos. Chrysotile asbestos fibers are curly and flexible.

Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center notes that chrysotile asbestos is the most common cause of asbestos-related diseases as it was used more than any other type.

Chrysotile asbestos was used in cement, insulation, roofing materials, rubber, plastics, brakes, and many other products.

We may be able to help you access compensation and justice if you developed an illness like lung cancer after being exposed to any type of asbestos. Get a free case review to find out if you’re eligible.

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What Products Contain Asbestos?

Over 3,000 products were made with asbestos before the health risks were widely known. Everything from building materials to even some forms of toothpaste contained asbestos.

Notable asbestos products included:

  • Adhesives
  • Boilers
  • Brake pads and linings
  • Cement
  • Coatings
  • Drywall
  • Fireproofing materials
  • Gaskets
  • Insulation
  • Joint compounds
  • Makeup
  • Patching
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Roofing
  • Shingles
  • Textiles
  • Toothpaste
  • Vinyl floor tiles

The use of asbestos in new products has been restricted since the 1980s. However, more than 700,000 buildings in the U.S. still contain asbestos, and the mineral has not been completely banned in the country.

Sturdy asbestos products don’t pose a risk to human health, but if they break down, fibers could be released into the air.

The media has recently covered stories in which old asbestos in houses, military bases, and fire stations has been disturbed and threatened people’s health.

Manufacturers of Asbestos-Based Products

Hundreds of companies around the world made and sold asbestos-containing products for decades.

Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products include:

  • Johns Manville: The biggest producer of asbestos-containing materials, Johns Manville started using asbestos in 1858.
  • Raybestos: The president of Raybestos knew the health dangers of asbestos back in the 1930s, but hid them.
  • W.R. Grace: For nearly 30 years, W.R. Grace operated an asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. One in 10 Libby residents now have an asbestos-related disease. Many more were also exposed to asbestos from W.R. Grace’s products.

These manufacturers and many others didn’t reveal the health risks of asbestos until millions of people had already been exposed. As a result, they faced thousands of lawsuits from those who got sick.

You may be able to get compensation from these companies (and many others not listed above) for asbestos-related health problems. Contact us now to see if you’re eligible.

Do Companies Still Use Asbestos?

Yes. Asbestos is still used today by companies in the U.S. despite the fact that it causes lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly illnesses.

For example, the chlor-alkali industry (which uses asbestos in the process of making chlorine) imported over 300 tons of asbestos into the U.S. in 2022 alone, according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

Asbestos-Related Occupations

More than 27 million people were exposed to asbestos on the job between 1940 and 1979, according to the ATSDR.

Jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure included:
  • Boilermaking: Most boilers were built with asbestos-containing products like insulation before the 1980s. Boilermakers had to install or repair boilers in cramped spaces, where asbestos fibers could linger in the air and get inhaled.
  • Construction work: Those who worked on construction sites may have been exposed to asbestos-based cement, paint, insulation, and tiles, among many other products.
  • Military service: U.S. veterans are at risk of asbestos lung cancer and other diseases as military branches relied on the substance until the early 1980s. U.S. Navy veterans are at the greatest risk, as almost all Navy ships used asbestos products before the risks were known.
  • Shipyard work: Shipyard workers had to install and remove asbestos-containing piping, wires, gaskets, insulation, and much more. One in three mesothelioma patients today are either former shipyard workers or U.S. Navy veterans..

While anyone exposed to asbestos at a job could later get sick, those at the highest risk worked with or around asbestos-containing products on a regular basis for years on end.

Risks of Secondhand Asbestos Exposure Among Families

The family members of those who worked around asbestos were also at risk due to secondhand (or take-home) exposure.

Workers could unknowingly bring asbestos fibers to their homes on their clothing or skin. Their family might then inhale or swallow the fibers and become sick decades later.

“My father would come home from work, and I’d run up and hug him. He was covered in dust from a worksite. We didn’t know that it included asbestos dust.”

— Julie Gundlach, 18+ year mesothelioma survivor

Work with our team to get justice if you developed lung cancer or another disease from occupational asbestos exposure. Financial compensation may be available.

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Avoiding Asbestos Exposure

Avoiding asbestos is the only way to prevent asbestos-related diseases. Below are three steps you can take to avoid asbestos exposure and help keep others safe.

1. Identify Asbestos

You probably won’t be able to tell if something contains asbestos by yourself. You’ll need to call a professional to have asbestos testing done. Avoid touching the product or material if it’s damaged or crumbling.

Professionals can use test kits to see if the product in question contains asbestos in the home and then recommend steps to keep you and your family safe.

2. Remove or Abate Asbestos

Asbestos-containing products can be either removed or abated (sealed) by professionals. In some cases, no action may be needed. It depends on whether the asbestos is friable or non-friable.

Friable Asbestos

Friable asbestos is worn down or damaged and could release fibers into the air. There are two options to address friable asbestos, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  1. Removal: This is usually recommended if the product in question is greatly damaged or a major home renovation is taking place.
  2. Repair: Professionals can cover the product with a protective coating or wrapping so fibers won’t be released.

You’ll need to work with asbestos abatement professionals in either case. Work that’s not done by experts could release more asbestos into the air and put you in danger.

Non-Friable Asbestos

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends leaving asbestos products alone if they’re non-friable (sturdy and not at risk of decomposing).

That said, you could ask a professional to remove the asbestos for your peace of mind.

3. Ban Asbestos

The 1989 Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule banned asbestos after the dangers became widely known. But, the rule was overturned in 1991, meaning the carcinogen is still in use today despite heavy regulations.

More recently, the EPA proposed a ban on all new uses of chrysotile asbestos in April 2022. This would be a big step toward totally banning asbestos in this country, but it has not yet been approved.

In 2023, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act was reintroduced to Congress. If passed, the bill would amend the Toxic Substances and Control Act to ban asbestos once and for all.

You can help in the fight to ban asbestos by connecting with advocacy groups and encouraging the government to enact a full ban.

Asbestos Compensation Options

Men wearing suits sit at a brown desk. A gavel is sitting on the desk in the foreground.You may be able to get asbestos compensation if you or a loved one developed lung cancer, mesothelioma, or another illness after being exposed to this toxic substance.

Ways to pursue asbestos compensation include:

  • Asbestos lawsuits: Lawsuits can force manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to pay for the harm they’ve caused. You can work with our legal partners to file an asbestos lawsuit if eligible. Many past clients have received millions of dollars from these lawsuits.
  • Asbestos trust funds: Trusts have been set up by bankrupt asbestos companies (which can’t be sued). There is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds right now that you may be eligible for payouts from.
  • VA benefits: Veterans with asbestos lung cancer or mesothelioma can get military benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Many veterans qualify for disability payouts typically worth almost $4,000.

A skilled asbestos lawyer can help you file lawsuits and other claims to get compensation with ease.

Get a free case review to find out if you’re eligible for asbestos compensation. If so, we can connect you with top attorneys who will fight for the highest payouts.

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Get Help if You Were Harmed by Asbestos

Nobody deserves to develop life-threatening illnesses like lung cancer or mesothelioma from asbestos products, which were thought to be safe for decades.

Yet this is exactly what has happened as millions of U.S. workers used asbestos without knowing the dangers since major companies hid the risks.

If you or a loved one developed a serious illness like lung cancer after working with or around asbestos, Lung Cancer Group can help.

Work with our team to pursue:

  • The best attorneys so you can file lawsuits quickly
  • Compensation worth up to several million dollars
  • Justice against the asbestos companies that harmed you

Get a free case review now to learn if we can help you or one of your family members.

Asbestos FAQs

What are the first signs of asbestos exposure?

Some of the first signs you may have an asbestos-related disease like lung cancer include a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

See a doctor immediately if you have signs of an asbestos-related health problem. Doctors can assess your symptoms and, if you do have lung cancer or mesothelioma, recommend a health care plan to best suit your needs.

Asbestos isn’t used to make new homes in the U.S. anymore. That said, thousands of older homes built before the risks were known may still contain asbestos products today.

If you’re concerned about asbestos-based products in your home, consult an abatement professional who can assess your safety.

No. Almost 70 countries have totally banned asbestos, but the U.S. is not one of them. The EPA tried to ban asbestos in 1989, but its efforts were overturned in 1991.

Most uses of asbestos are restricted in the U.S., but contrary to popular belief, tons of it continue to be imported and used today.

Once asbestos fibers are inside your body, they’ll slowly damage healthy tissues and organs. This can eventually cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related diseases 10-50 years after exposure.

Get a free case review for help pursuing financial compensation after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos naturally forms in rock deposits all over the world. Manufacturers mined asbestos from the ground and processed it for use in various products.

Asbestos mining operations were shut down in the U.S. after the health risks became public knowledge. However, asbestos is still mined in countries like China and Russia today.

Yes, all types of asbestos are dangerous. Additionally, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Anyone exposed to asbestos can go on to develop lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other diseases. Those at the highest risk of getting sick worked with asbestos-containing products on a frequent basis and/or for long periods of time.

Call (877) 446-5767 for help pursuing financial aid if you got sick from exposure to asbestos.

Lung Cancer Group was established by a team of caring advocates so those with lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases can get the help they deserve. Our site provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about lung cancer, its link to asbestos, and financial compensation available to patients. Contact us to learn more and get assistance.

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