June 27, 2017

Lung disease associated with occupational exposure is not new. This area continues to see its share of lung disease associated with coal dust exposure, along with silica and asbestosis related lung disease. What I am impressed with is the new and different exposures causing lung disease, some of which are related to advancing technology. There are even new ways of getting exposed to some of the older, well-known dusts. Silica immediately comes to mind. Brick making was the usual way of getting exposed to silica. Now the use of sand blasting denim material is causing significant disease, as is the fracking industry, which instills pressurized sand and other compounds into its wells exposing the operators of the equipment to significant amounts of silica dust. The manufacturing of the liquid crystal display screens that we all know and love exposes workers to a combination of iridium and tin, which causes interstitial fibrosis. Something seemingly as simple as the microwave popcorn industry is not immune from causing industrial related lung disease. A flavoring compound used in production has been shown to cause significant lung damage in a number of workers. Firemen and first responders are exposed to potential lung disease. The firemen and rescue workers from the World Trade Center attack developed significant and irreversible lung injury. Data on firemen, alone, suggests that many will develop lung function impairment as part of their dangerous but necessary duties. There are many more instances which require special expertise in occupational medicine to evaluate.

Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania
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The Buzz by Dr. Z

George M. Zlupko, MD, FCCP

Timothy A. Lucas, MD, FCCP

Alan J. Kanouff, DO, FCCP

Dr. Michael C. Zlupko, MD

800 Chestnut Ave
Altoona, PA 16601




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