BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, CAVALLINI JAMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pneumoconiosis. Coloured computer tomography (CAT or CT) scan of a horizontal slice through the chest of a patient suffering from pneumoconiosis. The arrows point to areas of the lungs particularly affected. Pneumoconiosis is contracted as a result of exposure to fibres and mineral particles of less than 0.005 milimetres across. These can reach the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs and if they accumulate can produce scarring and thickening leading to breathlessness, coughing and severe disability or death. A common form of pneumoconiosis is asbestosis caused by asbestos fibres.
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