In the majority of cases, asbestosis develops after an accumulation of asbestos in the lungs for several years
People who worked in manufacturing, milling, and mining before the 1970s are at risk of developing asbestosis.
Asbestosis is a condition that involves changes such as lung fibrosis that usually develops after more than five years of routine exposure to asbestos dust. The inhaled tiny airborne asbestos fibers get trapped within the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs and cause irritation and subsequent scarring of the lung tissue.
As this is a gradual process, the symptoms of asbestosis may not develop for over two decades after the exposure. By the time the signs of asbestosis appear, significant scarring of the lungs would have occurred making it quite stiff and more difficult to breathe.