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Pleural thickening due to asbestos. X-ray of the chest of a 64-year-old man with pleural thickening and calcification consistent with previous asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a general term for several silicate minerals used as insulation in the building industry. If the asbestos degrades and is exposed, asbestos fibres will be released into the air. These are small and can be inhaled deep into the lungs. As the body is unable to degrade them, leading to lung damage due to asbestos (asbestosis) and lung cancers such as mesotheliomas.
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