Pneumoconioses, mineral and vegetable
The term pneumoconiosis, originally coined by Zenker,1 literally means dust in the lung. Because various types of dust can be found in the lungs of virtually all adults, this term has come to mean the accumulation of abnormal amounts of dust in the lungs and the local pathologic response to this dust. A great variety of dust particles have been identified, which, when inhaled in sufficient amounts, are capable of producing disease in humans. The sources of these particles are diverse, ranging from occupational to environmental exposures. Factors important in determining the pathologic response to a given dust exposure include the number, size, and physicochemical properties of the inhaled particles; the route and efficiency of the clearance of particles from the respiratory tract; the nature and intensity of the host's inflammatory response to the particles deposited in the lung; the duration of the exposure and interval since initial exposure; and the interaction between the inhaled particles from multiple sources and other environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke. © 2008 Springer New York.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)