Asbestos can cause health effects if fibres are breathed into the lungs. Most fibres are removed from your lungs by your body's natural defences (eg. by being coughed up and then swallowed), however some fibres can remain in the lungs.
The possible health effects of asbestos are:
These diseases can sometimes take up to 50 years to develop. There may be some treatments for asbestos related diseases, but there are currently no known cures.
For more information, see the general information sheet on asbestos related diseases.