How is asbestos exposure evaluated?

Asbestosis or asbestos cancer is also called as mesothelioma. It is caused by exposure to asbestos dust. When someone panics about how they might be exposed to asbestos, their exposure is evaluated in a systematic manner.


First, the investigating doctor or legal team will try to understand what the dosage of exposure might be. Even clean air contains traces of asbestos. Certain doses of asbestos might be completely harmless. But, when the levels start to go up, the risk of it causing cancer obviously go up.

Second is the duration of exposure. Asbestosis takes a long time to evolve as a cancer in the human body. So, when one is trying to figure out how bad the exposure might be, the length of exposure will be taken into account. One will often need 10-40 years of continuous exposure for mesothelioma or asbestosis to form.

Another evaluation factor for asbestosis is to figure out what kind of asbestos might have caused the cancer. This is because there are several types of asbestos fibers. All asbestos fibers cause cancer but some result in more aggressive cancers.

After the above factors are rated, the source of asbestos exposure is also often investigated. For example, it could be air from an exhaust of a machine that destroyed insulation installations or it could be dust that is thrown in the air as a result of tile cutting. Identifying the source allows doctors or research teams to better figure out the type of asbestos that might be affecting a person.

Lastly, a person’s individual traits are also evaluated. For example, if it is found that a person smokes cigarettes or tobacco and has smoked it for many years, he or she will be told that their chances of fighting off mesothelioma is much worse than another mesothelioma victim who didn’t smoke.