Asbestosis, silicosis, sick building syndrome | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy
15
October

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /


– So occupational lung
diseases, once again, are diseases of the lung
that are somehow related to some work-related or some
occupational exposure. And I’m gonna talk about three types of occupational lung diseases. And the first type of
occupational lung disease, we’re gonna talk about is
called asbestosis, asbestosis. And asbestosis is caused by
asbestos exposure, right. And what fields does that occur in? Well, it can occur in– The exposure can occur in construction. So it can occur in construction. It can also, plumbers can
be exposed to asbestos. So it can be seen in plumbers. And finally, it can also be
seen in shipyard workers, so people who work on the
ship or people in the navy, like that might be a clue to exposure to shipyard environment. Those are some of the
fields in which you can be exposed to asbestos and
wind up with asbestosis. And asbestosis is really
important because it increases, it increases the risk of lung cancer, of lung cancer, primarily. And it also increases
the risk of mesothelioma. So it increases the risk of lung cancer, and it increases the risk of mesothelioma. And I guess mesothelioma
tends to earn more media recognition, but something
that’s really important to keep in mind, that it’s
actually lung cancer that’s most likely to arise after exposure to asbestos rather than mesothelioma. So a person exposed to
asbestos is more likely to do up lung cancer than mesothelioma. So the second occupational lung
disease I’m gonna talk about is silicosis or exposure to silica. What fields does this occur in? Well, silicosis can be
seen in sandblasters. Sandblasters. And it can also be seen in silica minors. To be honest, I didn’t even
know there was such a thing as silica minors until
I explored this further. But there is such a
thing as silica minors. And silicosis is really,
really, important because it increases the risk of tuberculosis. It increases the risk of TB. And the mechanism by which
it does this is important, and it’s interesting. So I wanted to explore
that a little bit further. Let’s see, what you see in
the orange here are little tuberculous bacilli. Okay, so those are, that’s a TB. And we know that TB is
handled by our body, right, by macrophages. So there are these big,
white blood cells that will engulf the TB bacteria,
that will engulf them, that will eat them all up,
just like I’m trying to show the macrophages taking up the TB bacilli. So these are the macrophages, right, so the white blood cells that
are responsible for protecting our body against this bacteria. And what silica exposure does
is it inhibits the function of the macrophages so that
the macrophages are no longer able to take up the TB. And so that predisposes a
person who’s been exposed to silica to developing TB infection. So the third type of
occupational lung disease, I’d like to talk about is
sick, is sick building, Sick Building Syndrome. These are only three types of
occupational lung diseases. I’d really like to point
that out that I picked three important ones, but these
are not the only ones. So Sick Building Syndrome, where do you get exposed
to Sick Building Syndrome? Usually it’s seen when you
have AC or heating ventilation problems and also when people
are exposed to different mold found in older buildings
or unkempt buildings. So these three types of
occupational lung diseases, actually have a common thread
that runs through them. They have a common pathogenesis. I’m gonna scroll down just a touch. I’m gonna bring up back
this picture of the lung. And let’s say– For example, let’s say that we
are inhaling these particles. These are particles of asbestos,
called asbestos fibers. Or inhaling silica particles or molds in Sick Building Syndrome. So we inhale these particles
and they go and they deposit into the tissue of the lungs. So that’s what I’m showing over here. It’s being deposited into
the tissue of the lungs. And really importantly, we have
white blood cells scattered all throughout the tissue of the lung. And these white blood cells
will take up any particles, any dust particles also,
any silica, any asbestos, any molds, that make
their way into the lung. And that’s what I’m trying to show. I’m trying to show the white
blood cells sort of engulfing these bad particles that
can damage the lung. So through the engulfing,
through the function of these macrophages or white blood cells, they’re sort of engaging
in battle in the lung. And by their engaging in
battle in the lung, it leads to a sort of environment of
inflammation in the lung. So because they’re trying
to destroy these particles, it leads to this environment
of inflammation in the lung. And that inflammation over the course of not days or weeks or months, but over the course of several years, leads to the development of
scarring and of fibrosis, so that’s really important. So over the course of many years, all this inflammation
that’s present through the continual inhalation of
these particles will lead to fibrosis of the lung. That fibrosis is what’s
responsible for the lung disease, for the lung manifestation. So difficulty breathing and
all the things that happen in occupational lung
disease in these three cases is due to fibrosis of the lung. So in asbestosis, silicosis,
and in Sick Building Syndrome, you end up with scarring
and fibrosis of the lungs. So keep in mind that these
are only three types of the many, many, types of
occupational lung diseases. And this is the mechanism
by which they cause disease, eventually leading to
fibrosis of the lungs.


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