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What is Pleural Plaque?

Pleural Plaques are lesions that form on the parietal pleura, which is the lining underneath the chest wall.

It is thought that the body’s defensive mechanisms transport the asbestos fibre to the parietal pleura. They calcify over time and are generally detected by chest x-ray about 20 years after exposure occurred.


Pleural Plaques are technically a form of asbestos related disease but they rarely cause symptoms. In rare cases, they can cause chest pain due to the entrapment and/or irritation of nerves on the surface of the pleura.

People who worked with asbestos regularly and usually develop Pleural Plaques. In most cases these can be anywhere between the size of a 10 cent piece to a 50 cent piece.

Pleural Plaques do not turn into another form of asbestos related disease and most people who have Pleural Plaques never develop any other form of asbestos related disease. The risk of developing asbestos related disease arises from the fibres inhaled and retained in the lung and not the Pleural Plaques.

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