Occupational lung disease is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States and refers to a variety of lung diseases incurred in workplaces. Virtually all of them can be diagnosed and treated with the most advanced techniques available at the Asthma and Other Lung Diseases program.
Occupational lung cancer is caused by the inhalation of carcinogens in the workplace.
Asbestosis, a progressive disease marked by lung tissue scarring, is caused by exposure to microscopic asbestos fibers. Byssinosis, or brown lung disease, is caused by dust from hemp, flax, and cotton processing. This chronic condition severely affects lung function.
Other occupational lung diseases include occupational asthma (which occurs when an individual is exposed to dust, vapors, gases, or fumes which trigger an asthma attack), black lung disease (limited to coal workers), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (caused by the inhalation of fungus spores from organic sources), and silicosis (resulting from exposure to silica in mines, foundries, stone, clay, and glass manufacturing).