Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (also described as 'black lung')
This is self explanatory in that it is caused by breathing in large amounts of coal dust over a number of years. Consequently coal miners are often affected by this type of pneumoconiosis.
This type of pneumoconiosis is caused by breathing in silica dust over a prolonged period of time. Silica is present in many types of stone with sandstone, gritstone and quartzite all having over 70% silica within them. Concrete and mortar have varying amounts between 25-70%, Shale 40-60%, and then lower amounts are found in slate, brick, granite and ironstone. Therefore people most at risk are those who work in quarrying, slate works, foundries, potteries, stonemasonry, sandblasting, construction (particularly when cutting stone, bricks and concrete) and glassworks.
This is caused through breathing in large quantities of asbestos dust and is one of the most common forms of pneumoconiosis. More information can be found here asbestosis compensation claims.
Extrinsic allergic alveolitis
This refers to a group of lung diseases that can develop after exposure to certain substances such as bacteria, fungi, animal proteins, plants and chemicals. Examples include:
- Farmer’s lung - this is probably the most common and is due to an allergic reaction to microbes which form mould on crops in storage (particularly mouldy straw, hay, or grain) or grain mites. When the crops are handled, particularly in confined spaces such as a poorly ventilated farm-building, they disturb the spores/mites and these are inhaled by farm workers.
- Metal working fluid - this arises through exposure to contaminated metal working fluid such as lubricants and coolants for metal machining purposes such as drilling, milling and turning. This can also cause asthma as well as dermatitis (if there is direct contact with skin).
Other lung conditions
- Byssinosis (also called 'brown lung') - this is caused through exposure to cotton dust or flax. This was more common in the past with workers in the textile and cotton manufacturing industry.
- Siderosis (also called 'welder’s lung') - this is common amongst metal workers and is caused through breathing in iron particles.