People exposed to asbestos either directly from asbestos jobsites or indirectly through second-hand exposure can be at risk for inhaling harmful mesothelioma cancer causing fibers. A person diagnosed with Asbestosis has most likely breathed in loose asbestos particles from the air resulting in scar tissue formation inside the lungs. An Abestosis diagnosis generally requires a physical exam from mesothelioma doctors who use diagnostic tests like x-rays and breathing tests. It is important to remember that arriving at a clear diagnosis is not always easy because there are different levels of asbestosis with varying degrees of severity. A mild version of asbestosis may have little to no impact on quality of life while more advanced mesothelioma stages can have a very negative impact on quality of life and result in death.
In addition, some health professionals who are not fully trained in asbestos cancer will use the word asbestosis interchangeably with other asbestos related illnesses including interstitial fibrosis, parenchymal fibrosis, asbestosis, pneumoconiosis.Sources
MayoClinic.com - Asbestosis - Definition
emedicine.com from Web MD - Asbestosis