The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Breathing metal dust for any duration of time can have a negative effect on the lungs, but it can be particularly dangerous if you do so over an extended period of time. The lungs have a natural defense system to protect against foreign particles settling within, but with constant exposure, this system can fail. As a result, dust particles are able to settle in the lung tissues — often in the air sacs or airways — and cause damage therein.
A few of the lung conditions that commonly occur as a result of continuous metal dust inhalation include:
- Siderosis — Also known as welder’s lung or silver polisher’s lung, this lung disease is caused by breathing in iron particles in the form of dust or fumes.
- Silicosis — This occupational lung disease occurs when a person inhales silica, a mineral present in ores and rock such as quartz, over an extended period of time. Miners, construction workers and other employees who are regularly exposed to silica have a higher chance of developing this condition if preventative measures are not taken.
- Black lung — Also referred to as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, this occupational lung disease most commonly affects miners and other workers who inhale coal dust on a regular basis.
All of these conditions fall under the pneumoconiosis umbrella, which is a broad term for interstitial lung diseases that occur as a result of mineral dust inhalation. While these conditions are not curable, there are many treatment options available for those affected. Some of the most common traditional treatments include medications, oxygen therapy and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking.
At the Lung Institute, we offer an innovative and natural treatment option for pneumoconiosis: stem cell therapy. Using a patient’s own stem cells, we are able to potentially help reduce inflammation in the lungs, slow the progression of the disease and improve the patient’s overall quality of life.
If you have been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis as a result of breathing metal dust and would like to learn more about stem cell therapy as an alternative form of treatment, call the Lung Institute today at (800) 729-3065.