The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Pneumoconiosis describes several occupational lung diseases that are caused by prolonged exposure to irritants like mineral dusts and particles. It is a type of interstitial lung disease, which is characterized by lung inflammation from inhaled substances that settle deep into the lungs. Pneumoconiosis primarily affects coal miners, iron foundry workers, millers, carpenters and employees in related industries who have worked in their respective trades for several years.
There are three main types of pneumoconiosis, each with separate causes:
- Black lung disease – Also referred to as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP), black lung is caused by the inhalation of coal dust.
- Silicosis – Exposure to silica, a mineral dust found in rocks, sand and mineral ores, can lead to silicosis.
- Siderosis – Breathing in dust that contains iron particles can cause siderosis, also known as welder’s lung.
It is important to note that individuals who have had occasional exposure to coal dust, silica or iron particles are not at high risk for pneumoconiosis. This disease is caused by frequent, prolonged exposure to such substances. Fortunately, government-imposed safety measures and exposure limits have generally reduced the incidence of siderosis and silicosis, although black lung disease has surprisingly spiked in recent years.
There is no cure for pneumoconiosis. However, the Lung Institute offers an alternative for patients who are struggling to manage their symptoms with traditional treatment methods alone. Autologous stem cell therapy has the potential to reduce lung inflammation, preserve lung function and even slow the progression of pneumoconiosis. This natural treatment utilizes the patient’s own stem cells to promote healing and improve quality of life.
No matter what has caused your pneumoconiosis, we encourage you to contact the Lung Institute to explore your alternative treatment options and learn how stem cell therapy may help you breathe easier. To speak with a member of our compassionate medical team, call (800) 729-3065 today.