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What causes black lung disease?

Inhaled coal dust is the culprit in black lung disease, also known as coal worker's pneumoconiosis. Coal dust can form deposits in the lungs, which may cause no symptoms initially. Over time, the dust can congregate and block the lungs' airways, which are called bronchioles. In about 1 to 2 percent of all cases, these coal dust deposits can cause scarring or destruction of the lung tissue and nearby blood vessels, a condition known as progressive massive fibrosis.

Continue Learning about Black Lung Disease

How do medications treat black lung disease?
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Black lung disease cannot be cured or specifically treated. Medications play no role in preventing o...
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Is the incidence of black lung disease going down?
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Some reports show that black lung disease may be becoming more, rather than less, common. Before the...
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What increases a person's risk for black lung disease?
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People who breathe in coal mine dust or graphite over several years are at risk for black lung disea...
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What are the symptoms of black lung disease?
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The simple form of black lung disease, or coal miner's pneumoconiosis, usually exhibits no symptoms....
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.