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This information was reviewed and approved by E Brigitte Gottschall, MD (9/30/2014).

Asbestos is a fiber that occurs naturally. It is mined and milled and in the past was used in many applications and industries including in construction, ship building, and the automotive industry. When asbestos fibers become airborne, and a person inhales the fibers, the fibers can become trapped in the lung. Asbestosis is a scarring lung disease that can occur as a result of the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Asbestosis typically results from breathing in high concentrations of asbestos fibers at work over many years, although on occasion the disease can occur and progress rapidly after short periods of intense exposure.

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