Sorry, Pete. That's a terrible price to pay for just doing your job.
I never intended to minimize the severity of asbestosis as a condition. It's been my understanding that the only people to contract the condition have been asbestos miners, asbestos insulation factory workers and installers, and those such as yourself who experienced prolonged exposure to asbestos in industry. Of course, I understand that there are always a few extremely unfortunate individuals who develop any condition from minimal exposure, but statistically asbestosis is a condition almost entirely restricted to those subject to prolonged, heavy exposure.
Do I think people should learn what precautions to take when dealing with limited amounts of asbestos, and then take those precautions? Of course. Do I think a homeowner should call the EPA when he or she learns that the ductwork of their old heating system is covered with non-deteriorating asbestos? Well, I wouldn't.
An incident I read about years ago suggests how hysterical the subject of asbestos has become. When the LA County coroner was performing the autopsy on Natalie Wood after she drowned, he noted that a life jacket she was wearing (or maybe should have been wearing--I don't remember which) contained a material similar to asbestos, about which he stated, "this was very bad." I had trouble understanding how much harm it could do her at that point, but that was his position.
I hope you still enjoy your life. Days above ground are generally better than the other kind, in my experience.