Libby amphibole asbestos fibers are different, both structurally and chemically, from most others. They’re actually made up of anywhere from three to five kinds of fibers. That means that asbestos-related diseases that people suffer because of their exposure to them are also somewhat different than those people can get from the more commonly used asbestos.
These diseases can also be more difficult to diagnose. They often don’t show up on CT scans and other types of imaging in their early stages. Doctors who aren’t experienced in dealing with asbestos-related conditions and their symptoms may misdiagnose them until the disease has progressed.
The most common type of disease caused by Libby amphibole asbestos is pleural fibrosis, where the fibers that are breathed in move outward and get into the outside (pleural) lining of the lungs. The thickening can look like shadows in the early stages. As the disease progresses (which it typically does rapidly), the lining is less capable of expanding with breathing. Besides shortness of breath, those with pleural fibrosis often have a chronic cough with phlegm and experience chest pain.
Those exposed to Libby amphibole asbestos less commonly suffer from what’s commonly called asbestosis. It has a number of other names, such as interstitial disease. It involves scarring of the lung tissue. It’s possible to have both pleural fibrosis and asbestosis at some point.
While you may not have any way of knowing what type of asbestos you were exposed to, if you were exposed to asbestos, it’s crucial to alert your doctor so that you can be properly diagnosed and treatment can begin as early as possible. It’s also wise to learn what kind of compensation you may be entitled to receive. Experienced legal guidance can help you afford the care you need.