Korean J Fam Med.  2009 May;30(5):335-343. 10.4082/kjfm.2009.30.5.335.

Compensation and Diagnosis of Asbestos Related Disease

  • 1Department of Occupational Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul, Korea. ksg6201@empal.com


Asbestos is a fibrous silicate that was widely used because of its heat resistance properties. Asbestos exposure affects workers involved in mining or processing asbestos or those involved in the use of asbestos in the shipbuilding, construction, and textile- and insulation-manufacturing industries. There are three commonly available types of asbestos; chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos), and crocidolite (blue asbestos). All three have been associated with cancerous and non-cancerous lung disease. Asbestos-related diseases includes benign pleural effusion, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening (a non-malignant disease affecting the lung lining), rounded atelectasis, asbestosis (a scarring of the lung tissue caused by asbestos), mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a malignant pleural or peritoneal tumor that rarely occurs in patients who have not been exposed to asbestos. The latency period of most asbestos-related disease is 10 years or longer, asbestos-related disease remains an important public health issue. The clinical diagnosis of asbestos related diseases should be based on a detailed interview of the patient and occupational data on asbestos exposure, signs and symptoms, radiological and lung physiological findings and selected cytological, histological and other laboratory studies. Radiological imaging plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and management of asbestos-related disease.


Asbestos Exposure; Asbestos Related Disease; Worker's Compensation
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