Pathological Features of Pulmonary Disease due to Silicate Dust Inhalation

  • John E. Craighead
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 21)


Clinical and pathological information is limited on diseases of the lung caused by inhalation of plate silicates. Many reports and descriptions of the pathology of these diseases depict postmortem studies conducted on workers with exceedingly heavy pulmonary dust burdens. While these observations are important, the pathological changes seen in severe, advanced cases of disease due to occupational exposure do not accurately reflect the pathological changes occurring in the lungs of lesser degrees of exposure (Hale et al. 1956, and Craighead 1981, Lapenas et al. 1984, Davies 1983, Seaton et al. 1986). Countless numbers those with Vallyathan and Cotton of us are exposed to silicates avocationally and in industries where particulate concentrations in the ambient air are controlled. And, community hospital pathologists occasionally see lesions due to silicates when no documented exposure exists. When a history of silicate exposure is present in those with in chronic obstructive lung disease, definitive evaluation of the functional effects of the silicates is difficult. Since analytical studies to determine the nature of the dust in the lungs are expensive and often not feasible, recognizing the pathologic pattern of lesions due to silicate exposure may be critical to the diagnostic pathologist. Assembled here are observations on sporadic cases occurring in workers exposed to varying degrees of dust.


Coal Worker Pneumoconiosis Coal Worker Asbestos Body Foundry Worker Progressive Massive Fibrosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Craighead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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