Smoking and Asbestos Increases Risk for Lung Cancer in 2018
Researchers determined that smoking and asbestos exposure collectively can increase the risk of asbestos-related diseases up to 90 percent in some cases while having little or no causal effect on other diseases. Both smoking and asbestos irritate the lungs. Smoking is a well-known trigger for lung cancer. Chronic exposure to smoke (smoking) causes as many as 90% of lung cancers.
Breathing asbestos fibers can cause lung damage which can lead to non-cancerous asbestos diseases such as pleural disease and asbestosis, or to cancerous diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, some may be expelled, but others may remain in the lungs for a lifetime. Cigarette smoking weakens the lungs and decreases their ability to expel fibers. Smoking also acts as an irritant in the air passages causing a higher production of mucus, thereby blocking the passage of air and further decreasing the removal of fibe..