There are millions of workers whose exposure to asbestos dust prior to the implementation of asbestos regulation and improved control measures places them at risk of asbestos-related disease today. In addition, workers are still being exposed to significant amounts of asbestos, when asbestos materials in place are disturbed during renovation, repair, or demolition. Given the continued presence of asbestos-containing materials in industrial, commercial, and residential settings throughout the U.S., a sizeable population remains at risk of asbestos-related disease.
This article reviews the health effects associated with exposure to asbestos and delineates the steps necessary for the comprehensive screening and clinical assessment for asbestos-related disease, in order to assist physicians in identifying and preventing illness associated with exposure to asbestos among their patients. Am. J. Ind. Med. 37:6–22, 2000. © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.