Short Answer: Can asbestos kill you? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is pretty straightforward… Yes.

Asbestos causes many health problems, some of which are fatal, including cancer.

Asbestos exposure poses a wide range of dangers to our health, and it can come in many different forms. In some cases, that danger is clear, but there are also deadly dangers of asbestos that can be out of sight, out of mind. Because of this, it is vital to understand not only that asbestos can kill you, but what to do if you or someone you love has an asbestos-related disease.


If you may have been exposed to asbestos, speak with your healthcare provider about tests and screening to help detect the presence of asbestos fibers and asbestos-related diseases.

The Life-Threatening Symptoms of Asbestos Disease

Oftentimes, asbestos can be compared to a “sleeper agent” from action and detective movies. These agents remain inconspicuous and “off the radar” as they establish their position. One of the things that makes asbestos so deadly is its long latency period. People can be exposed to tiny asbestos fibers, but experience no symptoms for decades- sometimes as long as fifty years! However, after time, these “sleeper agents” show themselves in the form of severe and deadly asbestos-related diseases. 

It is fair to say that asbestos can kill you, but the context behind that statement has to do with asbestos-related diseases that asbestos exposure causes. These often include various forms of cancer, but they can also be chronic lung diseases that can also be fatal. Even when non-malignant asbestos illnesses do not result in death, they are still painful, incurable, and can often lead to cancer.

“[S]ome [asbestos] fibers may bypass…your body’s natural defenses…and lodge deep within your lungs. Those fibers can remain in place for a very long time and may never be removed.”

Source: American Lung Association

Some examples of asbestos-related cancers include mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and esophageal cancer. 

Chronic, non-cancerous diseases linked to asbestos exposure include pleural plaques and asbestosis.

Again, it is important to understand that both cancerous and non-cancerous asbestos diseases are often fatal. When it comes to lung diseases and cancers, the symptoms that should you should be aware of include chest pain, fluid in the lungs, or a crackling sound when breathing, especially when accompanied by shortness of breath. Since the threat of asbestos exposure is not restricted to the lungs, there are other bodily symptoms that should be taken as warning signs, such as unexplained weight loss, appetite loss, and abdominal pain and/or swelling. 

“The overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)2

What makes these symptoms difficult is the fact that many of them can accompany illnesses that are unrelated to asbestos. This is why it is crucial to speak to a healthcare professional to determine whether these symptoms are linked to asbestos. The good news is that there is no risk involved here. A clean bill of health and no discovery of asbestos exposure can give you great peace of mind, and the discovery of asbestos exposure means that treatment can begin right away. 

Standard Options

Treatment for asbestos-related illnesses can come in many different forms, depending on the severity and type of disease. Some of the more standard treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and tumor treating field. These standard examples are still the most widely used, but it is important to note that the medical community continues to find innovative ways to treat these illnesses. 

“Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)2

Experimental Options

Three examples of these newly developed treatments for asbestos-related illness include experimental medications (not yet FDA approved) like Opdivo and Yervoy to mitigate tumor growth, clinical trial gene therapy to introduce anti-cancer cells into the body, and virotherapy, a cancer-killing virus. Again, it is worth noting that these treatments are experimental. Your physician will recommend the types of treatment that are best for the kind of asbestos-related illnesses you may have, but it is worth knowing what options may be available.

Do You Qualify For Compensation?

Quickly and easily find out how you were exposed by searching W.A.R.D., the largest asbestos database on the planet.

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Compensation and Litigation

One of the worst parts about asbestos-related diseases is the stress many people have to deal with. This stress often comes in the form of questions racing through our minds:

  • How did I get exposed? 
  • How am I going to pay for this? 
  • What legal action can I take?

These are all valid questions to ask when it comes to asbestos exposure and paying for treatment, and frankly, they’re questions that deserve answers. Exposure to asbestos and its deadly nature has been known by manufacturers for over 100 years. Despite this, asbestos was continually used at the expense of workers who remained in the dark about its dangers. The result is the widespread presence of asbestos in older homes, and office buildings, as well as the spread of asbestos from workers into their vehicles and homes, causing their spouses and family members to be exposed to asbestos. This is called second-hand exposure, and it is still a deadly type of exposure. 

Additionally, there are also instances involving asbestos exposure and death that cause trauma for the entire family. These examples can result in legal claims due such as wrongful death lawsuits if a parent or child died from asbestos exposure.

Because there is an unfortunate history of companies intentionally hiding the dangers of asbestos from their workers, or companies such as Johnson and Johnson lying about the presence of asbestos in their talc baby powder, we can often feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what kind of options we have at our disposal. 

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Considering an Asbestos Claims Attorney

This is where the value of having an asbestos claims attorney comes into view. Having an asbestos claims attorney is one of the best ways to take the stress off of yourself and let the professionals fight for you. These attorneys can help you through the entire process, determine what kind of claim you may be entitled to, and help you avoid the mistakes that could result in a rejected claim request. 

Most importantly, asbestos claims attorneys take away one of the most crippling aspects of dealing with asbestos compensation: stress. There are multiple types of asbestos claims and it can be difficult to try doing all the research and putting together the puzzle pieces of a claim all by yourself. What’s more, there are actually asbestos compensation options that can be secured without having to file a lawsuit.  

This can all be determined with the help of an asbestos claims attorney, If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos or contracted a life-threatening illness due to asbestos exposure, don’t wait. Reach out to the professionals at AsbestosClaims.Law today.


For Justinian C. Lane, getting compensation for asbestos victims is personal.

Justinian’s grandparents and his father all worked with asbestos in their younger years and died from asbestos-related cancers in their later years.  

At the time of each of their deaths, no one in Justinian’s family knew that they were eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit and to seek compensation from the asbestos trusts.

Because no one in Justinian’s family knew their options, they never received any compensation for the death of their loved ones. 

If you believe that you or your family member’s injury was related to asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to significant compensation.

This is money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

There are also asbestos trusts that offer compensation much more quickly and easily (without filing a lawsuit.)

If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.

In addition to legal claims, veterans disability, social security and employment protection like workers compensation, FELA and The Jones Act for maritime workers, there are asbestos trusts that have been set up to compensate those harmed by asbestos without having to file a lawsuit.

There is no risk or cost to speak with one of our staff about your asbestos litigation. There are no fees unless you receive money.

If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.

Introducing the largest database of asbestos information on the planet.

W.A.R.D., which stands for the Worldwide Asbestos Research Database, helps clients to narrow down when and where they may have been exposed, as well as which products may still contain asbestos. W.A.R.D. will also help indicate compensation types and how much a person may be entitled to.

1 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.
2 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.