According to iarc there is sufficient evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen and cancers of the lung larynx and ovary although rare mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure there is limited evidence that asbestos exposure is linked to increased risks of cancers of the stomach pharynx and colorectum. The major health problem caused by asbestos exposure aside from cancer is a lung disease called asbestosis when a person breathes high levels of asbestos over time some of the fibers lodge deep in the lungs irritation caused by the fibers can eventually lead to scarring fibrosis in the lungs this can make it hard to breathe. The world health organization says asbestos causes half of all occupational cancer deaths secondhand and environmental asbestos exposure can cause cancer as well asbestos exposure causes four types of cancer mesothelioma lung cancer laryngeal cancer ovarian cancer what are the symptoms of asbestos cancer. A statistically significant excess was also noted for kidney cancer cancer of the eye and non malignant respiratory disease eight deaths from malignant mesothelioma were observed two of which were peritoneal asbestos exposures for these mesothelioma cases were low relative to other members of the cohort
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