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Pneumoconiosis

Pneumoconiosis is the accumulation of dust in the lungs. It causes shortness of breath and coughing.

Specific types of pneumoconiosis include:

  • Silicosis, the accumulation of silicon dioxide dust.
  • Black lung disease, or coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWF), the accumulation of coal dust.
  • Asbestosis, the accumulation of asbestos fibers in the lungs.

There is no treatment for many types of pneumoconiosis. This condition can increase the risk for developing emphysema, tuberculosis, and chronic bronchitis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD). If pneumoconiosis progresses to one of these diseases, it may seriously impair quality of life. Some types of pneumoconiosis increase a person's risk for cancer.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.