Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease

Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease- This is a pathological condition of the lungs which is usually found in people who work in the coal mines across the globe.

What is Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease

What Is Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease?

As stated, Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease is a pathological condition of the lungs which is caused by inhaling coal dust, majority of people affected by this disease work in coal mines. There are basically two types of Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease, the simple form which is also known as Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis and the more complicated form which is known as Progressive Massive Fibrosis. Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease damages the lungs, inflames the walls of air sacs; and scars the lung tissues. Thus far, there is no treatment for Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease but physicians are able to treat the symptoms and complications of this occupational disease.

How Does Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease Affect Our Body?

As stated, people working in the coal mines across the globe are at increased risk for developing Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease as they are the ones who inhale maximum amount of coal dust. They may not have any symptoms for years but over a period of time with chronic exposure the coal dust settles itself deep within the lungs and starts affecting the functioning of the lungs causing difficulty breathing. Some of the complications of Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease are:

  • Development of Cor Pulmonale
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Respiratory failure

Who Is At Risk For Developing Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease?

Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease is an occupational hazard and people working in the following industries are prone to this disease:

  • People working in coal mines
  • People who load coal for storage
  • People who work in graphite mines
  • People who work in factories manufacturing carbon electrodes and carbon black, which is used in furnaces and in the tire industry

Symptoms Of Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease

Symptoms Of Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease

The Main Symptoms Of Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease Are:

  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath

How Is Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease Diagnosed?

A confirmatory diagnosis of Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease is made by the following tests:

  • Chest x-rays
  • Occupational history
  • Pulmonary function tests

What Are Treatments For Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease?

Thus far, there is no clear cut treatment for Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease. The physicians try to treat the symptoms and the complications of the disease to relieve symptoms.

Pneumoconiosis Or Black Lung Disease Prevention

In case if an individual is working in the above mentioned industries then the following safety measures need to be taken:

  • In case if a worker comes in contact with coal or coal dust then the worker should wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water
  • There is a definite need for change of clothing if it has been exposed to coal dust. The employers are instructed to provide workers with safety clothing to protect them from contaminating themselves.
  • In case if someone gets exposed to coal dust on a regular basis, then that individual should thoroughly wash the hands, and face with soap and water before eating, using toilet, taking medications etc.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 2, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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