Lung cells in pneumoconiosis, artwork

Lung cells in pneumoconiosis, artwork

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lung cells in pneumoconiosis. Artwork showing the effect of coal dust particles (blue) on lung cells, a condition known as pneumoconiosis, or coal workers' lung (CWL). The progression of the disease at the cellular level is shown from top. This disease is caused by the inhalation of pollutants such as coal and silica dust. The accumulation of these deposits (top) leads to inflammation (upper centre), fibrosis (scarring, lower centre) and ultimately necrosis (death) of the lung tissue (bottom). Symptoms include breathlessness, a chronic cough and increased susceptibility to lung infections. There is no cure.

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