The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Siderosis, also referred to as welder’s lung or silver polisher’s lung, is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of iron particles, whether through dust or fumes. This condition is a form of pneumoconiosis, a general term often used to refer to lung diseases caused by the inhalation of mineral dust particles. Other types of pneumoconiosis include silicosis (caused by inhaling silica particles) and black lung (caused by inhaling coal mine particles). Siderosis is also a form of interstitial lung disease, which results from inhaling irritants that settle into the lungs. These irritants generally lead to lung inflammation and scarring, and eventually cause the lungs to stiffen and become hardened, resulting in breathing difficulties.
Because siderosis is caused by inhaling iron particles that are mainly produced at certain jobsites, it is considered to be an occupational disease. Some occupations that can increase a person’s risk of developing siderosis include the following:
- Iron/steel rolling
- Metal polishing
- Metal sheet working
If you work in one of these occupations or are otherwise regularly exposed to iron dust or fumes, there are certain steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing siderosis. For example, you can wear a facemask and other protective garments while at work and ensure that your workplace is properly ventilated. You may also want to have regular checkups performed by a physician who can detect early signs of lung damage.
Interestingly, unlike many other interstitial lung diseases, siderosis rarely causes symptoms. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as a benign form of pneumoconiosis. Nonetheless, siderosis can lead to other conditions that produce their own symptoms.
At this time there is no cure for siderosis and, as with other interstitial lung diseases, the lung damage caused by siderosis is irreversible. If you have developed siderosis, however, the Lung Institute offers stem cell treatment options that may promote healing and may slow the progression of the condition. Please call the Lung Institute today at (800) 729-3065 if you are interested in learning more about our stem cell therapy procedures for siderosis. Our caring team members will be happy to explain how treatment using stem cells has the potential to help you breathe easier.