Occupational lung disease


Appropriate Tests


Clinical assessment. Diagnostic imaging, Blood gas arterial, Lung function studies as appropriate.

Lung biopsy, Pleural biopsy (including Fine needle aspiration biopsy) if indicated.

Allergen specific immunoglobulin E may be of value in the assessment of some forms of occupational asthma especially animal house workers.

See also Interstitial lung disease, Asthma.

Organic dusts

  • Mouldy hay (Farmer's lung)
  • Grain dust
  • Wood dust
  • Cotton (Byssinosis)
  • Sugar cane residue (Bagassosis)
  • Bird fancier's disease

Although precipitins to avian, fungal, thermophilic actinomycetes may be present in asymptomatic individuals exposed to organic dusts, their presence may assist to confirm disease in symptomatic patients.

Inorganic dusts

  • Asbestos
  • Silica
  • Coal dust
  • Beryllium



Toxic inhalation

  • Metal fumes
  • Polymer fumes
  • Sulphur dioxide


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