Five Types Of Pneumoconiosis

PneumoconiosisPneumoconiosis is referred to a category of lung diseases that are caused by prolonged inhalation of dust kind of particles. This group of lung disease is usually found to be occupational in nature and therefore very common amongst mine workers and stone drillers. Pneumoconiosis causes formation of fibrosis in the lungs.

Consequently the main symptoms are heavy cough, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and inflammation of lungs. This condition, if diagnosed in the earlier stages can be completely cured whereas a delay may prove to be fatal. Prevention is usually the best treatment for pneumoconiosis.  Depending on the cause behind this disease it can be broadly classified in to five types.

Various Types Of Pneumoconiosis

Coal workers Pneumoconiosis

As the term suggests, this kind of Pneumoconiosis is caused by inhalation of coal particles. It is also known as black lung disease as lungs actually get discoloured due to constant inhalation of coal dust. It is commonly found amongst coal workers and people living in the vicinity of coal mines.

Coal workers

Workers at the Ports where the unloading of coal takes place regularly can also be inflicted by this condition. The milder or initial stage of this disease is called Anthracosis and may not show any symptoms.


The underlying cause behind silicosis is excessive exposure to silica. This form of Pneumoconiosis is mostly found amongst the construction site, glass industry, quarrying and stone cutting workers. This can be further divided in to chronic, accelerated and acute silicosis.

Chronic silicosis takes place due to long term exposure whereas accelerated one is caused due to heavy exposure of silica in a short period of time. Therefore, the symptoms often appear aggressively in the latter. Acute silicosis also happens due to heavy exposure to silica and the patient may suddenly experience critical shortage of breath and fatigue.


Asbestos is a combination of silicate minerals and is widely used as fire retardant and anti-corrosive material. Most of the countries have stringent rules and regulations around handling and transportation of this material. Asbestosis is a respiratory disease that is caused as result of exposure to asbestos.


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It is usually caused by long term exposure unlike silicosis. The exposure can cause scarring of the lung tissue and symptoms amongst common ones also include finger deformity in the advanced stages.


Beryllium is a metal naturally found in earth’s crust. The mine workers extracting this metal are mostly at risk of contracting berylliosis along with those who work in  the Aerospace, laboratory, mining, optical and nuclear industry are susceptible to this lung disease. The onset of berylliosis begins with cough and shortness of breath which turns to acute fatigue and formation of large granulomas if not treated in time.


This respiratory disease is also known as brown fever or Monday fever. This disease is caused by exposure of cotton dust in a closed atmosphere and so it is found amongst textile industry workers. It is actually the endotoxin produced by the bacteria contained in the cotton that leads to Byssinosis.


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This disease narrows the airway gradually producing Asthma kind of symptoms. The reason why it is called Monday fever is because the symptoms recede rapidly when the person is not working with cotton even for a day. In olden days, Sundays being a holiday, the symptoms would return on Monday with full force for the textile workers and hence the term.

Occupations where there is a huge turnouts of this disease must strive to provide protective gear so that the mineral particles and dust is not inhaled. Many countries have now imposed bans and stringent regulations around the handling and setting up of plants that deal with the materials and metals that cause Pneumoconiosis.

Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.