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Video: Asbestosis

Video: Asbestosis
Video: Asbestosis | Occupational Lung Disease | Restrictive Lung Disease | Pulmonology 2023, September


Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to lung and respiratory diseases, such as asbestosis (connective tissue or scarring in the lungs), lung, pleura or larynx cancer, decades later.

Asbestosis results in pulmonary fibrosis caused by inhaled asbestos fibers. Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease that is characterized by a connective tissue-scarred remodeling of the lung structure.

The lungs "stiffen". Breathing becomes more difficult and the amount of oxygen in the blood drops. As the disease progresses, the oxygen supply is increasingly restricted.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Asbestosis - causes, consequences & prevention
  • Asbestosis - diagnosis
  • Asbestosis Therapy
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Asbestosis particularly affects people who were involved in the production, processing and removal or disposal of material containing asbestos. Asbestos fibers can reach the lungs and pleura and lead to fibrosis (so-called pleural plaques). Changes can also occur in the abdominal cavity and peritoneum. Difficult breathing appears as a symptom, initially during exertion and later also during rest.

Asbestosis - causes, consequences & prevention

Asbestos are fibrous silicates that occur in natural rocks. Because of its heat resistance, strength, elasticity, and acid resistance, asbestos has been used for many years as an insulating and building material as well as in industry. The use and manufacture of asbestos has been banned in Austria since 1990, and an EU-wide ban has been in place since 2005.

However, asbestos can be found in products that were mainly produced from 1950 (and until 1990). The spectrum ranges from roof and facade panels to floor coverings, seals, pipes, heating parts, radiator cladding, night storage heaters, boilers, air conditioning systems, household appliances and much more. Contact with asbestos can still occur today - e.g. during maintenance and servicing work, renovation, disposal and damage to the material. You can find more information at:

  • Labor inspection
  • AUVA
  • Environmental advice
  • Federal Environment Agency

Preventive measures are essential because the progression of asbestosis cannot be influenced. Appropriate protective measures and regular examinations are mandatory for employees who work with asbestos. Further information can be found at People who are exposed to asbestos and smoking are particularly at risk of lung cancer.

Asbestosis - diagnosis

For the diagnosis, among other things, an anamnesis, which includes the workplace, as well as the physical examination (e.g. listening, tapping) are essential. Other illnesses (especially other lung diseases) will be clarified. Among other things, the following are carried out:

  • roentgen
  • CT
  • Lung function diagnostics (e.g. spirometry)
  • Bronchoscopy / bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Thoracoscopy

Under certain conditions, asbestosis is considered an occupational disease. The attending physician must report the suspicion of the presence of an occupational disease to the responsible accident insurance provider, which will then be examined. The report can also be made by the employer or by the person concerned himself.

Information on occupational diseases and safety measures can be found at

  • Profession and workloads
  • AUVA (list of occupational diseases)
  • Labor inspection (occupational diseases)
  • in the occupational diseases folder - information for employees of the labor inspection

For more information on lung cancer, see Diseases.

Asbestosis Therapy

Asbestosis is progressing. So far, the remodeling of the lung tissue (fibrosis) has not been stopped by therapy. Avoiding contact with asbestos fibers is therefore essential. In the course of the disease, (long-term) oxygen therapy may be necessary.

Whom can I ask?

The contact persons are the pulmonologist. Specialized doctors carry out examinations of workers who work with asbestos. You can find a list at

You can also contact the company doctor if you have any questions.

The clarification takes place in the lung departments of hospitals or occupational medical facilities.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs for diagnosis and treatment are usually covered by the responsible health insurance company.

Your doctor will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. However, you may have to pay a deductible with certain health insurance providers. You can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Visit a Doctor: Costs and Deductibles.

For more information on costs for a hospital stay, see What does a hospital stay cost?

For certain examinations (e.g. X-ray, CT, biopsy) you need a referral / referral from the treating doctor. This is usually valid for one month from the date of issue. For a CT examination to be reimbursed by the health insurance company, the chief physician's approval is required within this period.

Certain forms of oxygen therapy (oxygen concentrator and liquid oxygen) also require a permit.

Occupational diseases and their consequences are covered by accident insurance as part of statutory social insurance. Your benefits include treatment and vocational rehabilitation as well as financial support. Further information is available from AUVA.