Pleural thickening and asbestosis showed a significant association with latency time and exposure. FVC and FEV(1) decreased across increasing profusion with an added effect of pleural thickening. There was a significant and independent effect of exposure on lower levels of FVC and FEV(1). Obstructive defects were mainly related to smoking and restriction to asbestosis. Dust exposure and smoking were synergistic in increasing chronic bronchitis and shortness of breath report. Shortness of breath report was also related to pleural thickening and higher body mass index.