Pneumoconiosis is a lung condition that is caused by inhaling particles of mineral dust, usually while working in a high-risk, mineral-related industry.
Pneumoconiosis is a lung condition that is caused by inhaling particles of mineral dust, usually while working in a high-risk, mineral-related industry. At first, irritating mineral dust can trigger lung inflammation, which causes areas of the lung to be temporarily damaged. Over time, these areas can progress to form tough, fibrous tissue deposits. This stage of pneumoconiosis is called fibrosis. Fibrosis stiffens the lungs and interferes with the lung’s normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Interstitial lung disease is the name for a large group of diseases that inflame or scar the lungs. The inflammation and scarring make it hard to get enough oxygen. The scarring is called pulmonary fibrosis. Breathing in dust or other particles in the air are responsible for some types of interstitial lung diseases. Specific types include
• Black lung disease among coal miners, from inhaling coal dust
• Farmer’s lung, from inhaling farm dust
• Asbestosis, from inhaling asbestos fibers
• Siderosis, from inhaling iron from mines or welding fumes
• Silicosis, from inhaling silica dust
Other causes include autoimmune diseases or occupational exposures to molds, gases, or fumes. Some types of interstitial lung disease have no known cause. Treatment depends on the type of exposure and the stage of the disease. It may involve medicines, oxygen therapy, or a lung transplant in severe cases.