Asbestos exposure raises the chances of someone dying of lung by 700% compared to people who are not exposed the Asbestos. The risks of getting any type of lung cancer is substantially higher for those who have been exposed to Asbestos in the past. A rare type of cancer that is to believed to be directly caused by Asbestos exposure is Malignant Mesothelioma. This type cancer directly attacks the lining of the lungs. It slowly kills the cells in this lining. Over time patients begin to get less oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream. The lack of oxygen can begin to have detrimental affects on many other ares of the body, including brain function for several years before the patient knows they have Malignant Mesothelioma.
The lining in the lungs is called the pleura. This is also the area that is infected in patients that have the disease pleurisy. Malignant Mesothelioma and pleurisy are in no way related and people who contract pleurisy should not think that they are at greater risk for Malignant Mesothelioma.
Asbestos was very commonly used for construction until around the 1950's. At that time it was found that there was a link between Asbestos and cancer in the lungs. For asbestos to be dangerous a person must inhale the fiber particles such as would released if you were sand it with wallpaper. Because of this fact there are still building today that contain Asbestos materials. It is believed that to remove it would actually increase the danger to the public for exposure. The removal would most likely cause the release of particles into the air.