Pneumoconiosis is an occupational lung disease
Occupational lung disease
Main Article Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Occupational lung diseases are a branch of occupational diseases concerned primarily with work related exposures to harmful substances, be they dusts or gases, and the subsequent pulmonary disorders that may occur as a result...

 and a restrictive lung disease
Restrictive lung disease
Restrictive lung diseases are a category of extrapulmonary, pleural, or parenchymal respiratory diseases that restrict lung expansion, resulting in a decreased lung volume, an increased work of breathing, and inadequate ventilation and/or oxygenation...

 caused by the inhalation
Inhalation is the movement of air from the external environment, through the air ways, and into the alveoli....

 of dust, often in mines.


Depending upon the type of dust, the disease is given different names:
  • Coalworker's pneumoconiosis
    Coalworker's pneumoconiosis
    Coal workers' pneumoconiosis , colloquially referred to as black lung disease, is caused by long exposure to coal dust. It is a common affliction of coal miners and others who work with coal, similar to both silicosis from inhaling silica dust, and to the long-term effects of tobacco smoking...

      (also known as "black lung" or anthracosis) - coal
    Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

    , carbon
    Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

  • Asbestosis
    Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs caused by the inhalation and retention of asbestos fibers...

     - asbestos
    Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

  • Silicosis
    Silicosis, also known as Potter's rot, is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust, and is marked by inflammation and scarring in forms of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs...

     (also known as "grinder's disease" or Potter's rot) - silica
  • Bauxite fibrosis
    Bauxite fibrosis
    Bauxite pneumoconiosis, also known as Shaver's disease, corundum smelter's lung, bauxite lung or bauxite smelters' disease, is a progressive form of pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to bauxite fumes which contain aluminium and silica particulates.It is typically seen in workers involved in the...

     - bauxite
    Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

  • Berylliosis
    Berylliosis, or chronic beryllium disease , is a chronic allergic-type lung response and chronic lung disease caused by exposure to beryllium and its compounds. As an occupational lung disease, it is most classically associated with beryllium mining or manufacturing of fluorescent light bulbs...

     - beryllium
    Beryllium is the chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4. It is a divalent element which occurs naturally only in combination with other elements in minerals. Notable gemstones which contain beryllium include beryl and chrysoberyl...

  • Siderosis
    Siderosis is the deposition of iron in tissue.When used without qualification, it usually refers to an environmental disease of the lung.Also Siderosis Bulbi, deposition of iron into the eye causing injury as the material chemically reacts with tissues and cells.-Causative agent:Iron oxide present...

     - iron
    Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

  • Byssinosis
    Byssinosis, also called "brown lung disease" or "Monday fever", is an occupational lung disease caused by exposure to cotton dust in inadequately ventilated working environments. Byssinosis commonly occurs in workers who are employed in yarn and fabric manufacture industries...

     - cotton
    Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

  • Silicosiderosis - mixed dust containing silica and iron
  • Labrador Lung (found in miners in Labrador
    Labrador is the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle...

    , Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    ) - mixed dust containing iron, silica and anthophyllite
    Anthophyllite is an amphibole mineral: 7Si8O222, magnesium iron inosilicate hydroxide. Anthophyllite is polymorphic with cummingtonite. Some forms of anthophyllite are lamellar or fibrous and are used as asbestos...

    , a type of asbestos


Positive indications on patient assessment:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest X-ray may show a characteristic patchy, subpleural, bibasilar interstitial infiltrates or small cystic radiolucencies called honeycombing

Pneumoconiosis in combination with multiple pulmonary rheumatoid nodules in rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks synovial joints. The process produces an inflammatory response of the synovium secondary to hyperplasia of synovial cells, excess synovial fluid, and the development...

 patients is known as Caplan's syndrome
Caplan's syndrome
Caplan's syndrome is a combination of rheumatoid arthritis and pneumoconiosis that manifests as intrapulmonary nodules, which appear homogenous and well-defined on chest X-ray.. The syndrome is named after Dr...


Other work-related lung diseases

  • Popcorn workers lung disease - Diacetyl
    Diacetyl is a natural byproduct of fermentation. It is a vicinal diketone with the molecular formula C4H6O2...

     emissions and airborne dust from butter flavorings used in microwave popcorn production

Popular culture references

  • In the classic British film Brief Encounter
    Brief Encounter
    Brief Encounter is a 1945 British film directed by David Lean about the conventions of British suburban life, centring on a housewife for whom real love brings unexpectedly violent emotions. The film stars Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey...

    (1945), derived from a Noel Coward
    Noël Coward
    Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

     play, housewife Laura (Celia Johnson
    Celia Johnson
    Dame Celia Elizabeth Johnson DBE was an English actress.She began her stage acting career in 1928, and subsequently achieved success in West End and Broadway productions. She also appeared in several films, including the romantic drama Brief Encounter , for which she received a nomination for the...

    ) and physician Alec (Trevor Howard
    Trevor Howard
    Trevor Howard , born Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith, was an English film, stage and television actor.-Early life:...

    ) begin an affair. She is desperately mesmerized in a train station lounge by his evocation of his passion for pneumoconioses.
  • In the 1995 British film Brassed Off
    Brassed Off
    Brassed Off is a 1996 British film written and directed by Mark Herman. The film, a British-American co-production made between Channel Four Films, Miramax Films and Prominent Films, is about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band, following the closure of their pit...

    , the band leader (Pete Postlethwaite
    Pete Postlethwaite
    Peter William "Pete" Postlethwaite, OBE, was an English stage, film and television actor.After minor television appearances including in The Professionals, Postlethwaite's first success came with the film Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988. He played a mysterious lawyer, Mr...

    ) in a small coal-mining town is hospitalized with pneumoconiosis.
  • 2006 documentary film by Shane Roberts. Features interviews with miners suffering from the disease and footage shot inside the mine
  • 1000 Ways to Die
    1000 Ways to Die
    1000 Ways to Die is a docufiction anthology television series that premiered on May 14, 2008 on Spike. The program recreates unusual supposed deaths and debunked urban legends and includes interviews with experts who describe the science behind each death...

     featured an incident where two kitchen workers succumb to Pneumoconiosis from playing in cocoa powder.
  • In the widely acclaimed Puzzle/Shooter game Portal 2
    Portal 2
    Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The sequel to the 2007 video game Portal, it was announced on March 5, 2010, following a week-long alternate reality game based on new patches to the original game...

    , former CEO and founder of Aperture Science Laboratories, Cave Johnson, purportedly contracted and died of Lunar Pneumoconiosis after prolonged exposure to the moon rocks he was utilizing in teleportation
    Teleportation is the fictional or imagined process by which matter is instantaneously transferred from one place to another.Teleportation may also refer to:*Quantum teleportation, a method of transmitting quantum data...

     technology research.

See also

  • Coalworker's pneumoconiosis
    Coalworker's pneumoconiosis
    Coal workers' pneumoconiosis , colloquially referred to as black lung disease, is caused by long exposure to coal dust. It is a common affliction of coal miners and others who work with coal, similar to both silicosis from inhaling silica dust, and to the long-term effects of tobacco smoking...

  • Black Lung Benefits Act of 1973
    Black Lung Benefits Act of 1973
    The Black Lung Benefits Act is a U.S. government program. It provides monthly payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis arising from employment in or around the nation's coal mines...

  • Chalicosis
    Chalicosis , sometimes called Flint disease, is a form of pneumoconiosis affecting the lungs or bronchioles.It is found chiefly among stonecutters....

  • Philip D'Arcy Hart
    Philip D'Arcy Hart
    Philip Montagu D’Arcy Hart, CBE, was a British medical researcher and pioneer in tuberculosis treatment. Grandson of Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling, he became a consultant physician at University College Hospital at the age of 34...

External links

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