BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asbestosis. Coloured computer tomography (CAT or CT) scan of a horizontal slice through the chest of a patient suffering from asbestosis. Scarring can be seen on the lungs (blue). Asbestosis is contracted as a result of prolonged exposure to fibres of asbestos, a mineral used for its fire- resistant properties. It does not normally develop until about 20 years after initial exposure, when it produces widespread fine scarring in the lungs leading to breathlessness, coughing and severe disability or death. CT scans are produced from multiple x-rays collated by computer to allow "slices" to be produced in any chosen direction.
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