To understand what asbestosis is and why it’s dangerous, you first have to understand what asbestos is. You know those popcorn ceilings you see in a lot of older homes? Perhaps you have it in your home? Well, this is the product of asbestos—a mineral material used for insulation for many decades. In the mid-20th century, it was discovered that these small mineral fibers were actually harmful, being inhaled by residents and causing serious illness.
The effects are not immediate, either. Over the years, asbestos can build up in your lungs, creating a range of respiratory illnesses, with the most severe being mesothelioma, a harmful form of lung cancer. Because of this, asbestos hasn’t been used any longer for insulation, but many homes still have it in their living spaces, where it should be removed.