Sickle-cell anaemia

Form of pneumoconiosis caused by many years’ inhalation of quartz particles (silica). It occurs in miners working in rock, porcelain workers, sand-blasters and quarry workers. Tiny grains of silica are deposited, and after twenty to thirty years, or even sooner, cause interstitial fibrosis, a lumpy accumulation of connective tissue in the lungs, and local emphysema. Symptoms include increasing shortness of breath, and chronic bronchitis, resulting in continual coughing associated with the expectoration of mucus. Silicosis sufferers run an increased risk of contracting severe pulmonary tuberculosis. Silicosis cannot be treated, thus workers exposed to stone particles must be very carefully protected.