What is Pneumoconiosis and what causes it?

What Is Pneumoconiosis (Miner’s Lung)?

Pneumoconiosis includes asbestosis and other industrial/dust lung conditions, like Farmer’s Lung, Berylliosis, Miner’s Lung, Aritosis, Siderosis, and Stannosis.

What Causes Pneumoconiosis?

Pneumoconiosis occurs when the lungs are damaged from dust and other industrial materials. Fiber and asbestos dust can trigger asbestosis as the lungs scar, causing breathing issues and eventual heart failure due to lack of oxygen. Asbestosis is often associated with lung cancer, which may develop in an asbestos worker that also smokes cigarettes.

Risk increases 90 times in an asbestos worker that smokes compared to a non-smoker that works in an asbestos-free environment.

Other dust diseases may include:

  • Berylliosis: After inhaling beryllium dust.
  • Baritosis, Siderosis, and Stannosis: After inhaling barium sulphate, iron oxide (arc-welding fumes), and tin oxide respectively.
  • Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis: After inhaling coal dust.
  • Farmer’s Lung: After exposure to cereal, grain, or other industrial dust.

Mesothelioma of the pleura is an asbestos-related condition that is both serious and malignant, albeit rare. Compared to asbestosis, malignant pleural tumor mesothelioma may not be related to heavy asbestos fiber exposure.

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