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Pneumoconiosis

Pneumoconiosis

Pneumoconiosis is the accumulation of dust in the lungs. It causes shortness of breath and coughing.

Specific types of pneumoconiosis include:

  • Silicosis, the accumulation of silicon dioxide dust.
  • Black lung disease, or coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWF), the accumulation of coal dust.
  • Asbestosis, the accumulation of asbestos fibers in the lungs.

There is no treatment for many types of pneumoconiosis. This condition can increase the risk for developing emphysema, tuberculosis, and chronic bronchitis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD). If pneumoconiosis progresses to one of these diseases, it may seriously impair quality of life. Some types of pneumoconiosis increase a person's risk for cancer.

Last Revised: November 29, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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