How to Use This Course


The goal of Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM) is to increase the primary care provider’s knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to help in evaluation and treating of potentially exposed patients. This CSEM focuses on asbestos toxicity.


Two versions of the Asbestos Toxicity CSEM are available.

The HTML version offers interactive exercises and prescriptive feedback to the user.


To make the most effective use of this course.

  • Take the Initial Check to assess your current knowledge about asbestos toxicity.
  • Read the title, learning objectives, text, and key points in each section.
  • Complete the progress check exercises at the end of each section and check your answers.
  • Complete and submit your assessment and posttest response online if you wish to obtain continuing education credit. Continuing education certificates can be printed immediately upon completion.
Instructional Format

This course is designed to help you learn efficiently. Topics are clearly labeled so that you can skip sections or quickly scan sections you are already familiar with. This labeling will also allow you to use this training material as a handy reference. To help you identify and absorb important content quickly, each section is structured as follows:

instructional format
Section Element Purpose
Title Serves as a “focus question” that you should be able to answer after completing the section.
Learning Objectives Describes specific content addressed in each section and focuses your attention on important points.
Text Provides the information you need to answer the progress check question(s) and achieve the learning objectives.
Key Points Highlights important issues and helps you review.
Progress Check exercises Enables you to test yourself to determine whether you exercises have mastered the learning objectives.
Progress Check Answers Provide feedback to ensure you understand the content and can locate information in the text.
Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Asbestos Toxicity CSEM, you will be able to:

learning objectives
Content Area Objectives
  • Explain what asbestos is.
Where Is Asbestos Found?
  • Identify where asbestos exists in the United States.
  • Describe how asbestos is released into the air.
Exposure Pathways
  • Identify the most important route of exposure to asbestos which leads to health effects.
Who Is at Risk?
  • Name the populations most heavily exposed to asbestos.
  • Describe who is at risk of domestic exposure to asbestos.
Standards and Regulations
  • Explain the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible exposure level for asbestos.
  • Explain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for asbestos in drinking water.
Biological Fate
  • Identify where asbestos fibers are most likely to be retained in the body.
Pathogenic Changes
  • Describe the hypothesis behind the mechanisms scientists currently believe leads asbestos to induce pathogenic changes in the lungs.
Respiratory Effects
  • Describe the most common respiratory conditions associated with asbestos.
Other Health Conditions
  • Identify non-respiratory conditions that might be associated with exposure to asbestos.
Clinical Assessment
  • Identify the primary focuses of the patient’s exposure history (exposure and medical).
  • Describe the most typical findings on examination of asbestosis patients.
Clinical Assessment -Tests
  • Describe chest radiograph findings associated with other asbestos-associated diseases.
  • Describe pulmonary function test findings associated with asbestosis.
Treatment and Management
  • Identify two primary strategies for managing asbestos-associated diseases.
  • Describe specific strategies for managing asbestosis.
Patient Education and Counseling
  • List four instructions for patient self care.
  • Identify two instructions for clinical follow-up.