What is pneumoconiosis?

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Pneumoconiosis is the accumulation of dust in the lungs often from occupational exposure. It may cause inflammation, shortness of breath, coughing, and scarring of the lungs.

Specific types of pneumoconiosis include:

  • Silicosis. This is the accumulation of silicon dioxide dust found in quartz, granite, or sandstone.
  • Black lung disease, or coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP). This is the accumulation of coal dust.
  • Asbestosis. This is 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 COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Some types can increase your risk of tuberculosis and other infections. Pneumoconiosis may seriously impair quality of life. Some types can increase a person's risk for cancer.

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