[toc]Pneumoconiosis is a lung-condition caused due to inhalation of dust, most often linked with mineral-related industry. The workers of these industries are at a high risk of getting afflicted with pneumoconiosis. The initial symptoms are lung inflammation, resulting in certain areas of the lung getting damaged temporarily. As the disease advances, these patches on the lung transform into fibrous tissue deposits.
This condition is called fibrosis. Due to fibrosis, the lungs lose their elasticity and the functioning of the lungs gets hampered. There are many types of pneumoconiosis. The type of this occupational lung disease depends upon the type of mineral dust inhaled. This article explains six major types of pneumoconiosis.
Various Types Of Pneumoconiosis
Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP)
This is also known as black lung disease. As the name suggests, the coal dust is responsible for this affliction. Hence coal miners and all other workers dealing with coal are at risk of developing CWP.
The initial stages of CWP are asymptomatic. Not just the coal workers, but almost all the urban population is exposed to carbon because of the air pollution. The severe form of this ailment develops into chronic bronchitis.
Inhalation of asbestos fibers causes chronic inflammation and fibrosis in the lungs. It is particularly seen in the people who are working at the production stage, it has also been found among the users of the asbestos products.
The initial symptoms of asbestosis are shortness of breath, but It can develop into some malignant diseases which includes lung cancer.
Silicosis is also known as potter’s rot and grinder’s asthma. This disease is caused by silica dust. In silicosis the lungs get inflamed and scarred on the upper areas. Sandstone, slate, mortar, sand and flint industries have to deal with silica.
All those professionals of these industries who are involved in grinding, breaking, crushing, cutting, drilling or lasting are at risk of inhaling some levels of silica dust. The symptoms of silicosis may be chest pain, cough, abnormalities of the nails, respiratory problems and loss of weight.
Bauxite pneumoconiosis is also known as bauxite smelters’ disease. Exposure to bauxite fumes causes bauxite pneumoconiosis. Bauxite fumes have silica and aluminum particles. The stage at which the workers get afflicted with bauxite pneumoconiosis is called smelting.
Exposure to beryllium is the cause of berylliosis or also known as chronic beryllium disease (CBD). This is the disease o the aerospace manufacturing industry and of the industry where fluorescent light bulbs are manufactured. Unfortunately it is not curable, though the symptoms can be alleviated.
Due to beryllium, the lungs develop small inflamed nodules, called granulomas. These granulomas look like tuberculosis granulomas though they are not the same. The symptoms of berylliosis are cough, chest pain, aching joints, fever, loss of weight and breathlessness.
Siderosis is caused by the dust of iron. Those who are at high risk are the welders, iron foundry workers, miners and steel workers. They are seen to be afflicted with lung cancer and some other respiratory diseases. The welders have obstructive airways disease, which is caused by the welding fumes.
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