Occupational disease and injury

Illnesses, disorders, or injuries that result from exposure to chemicals or dust, or are due to physical, psychological, or biological factors in the workplace. Pneumoconiosis is fibrosis of the lung due to inhalation of industrial dusts, such as coal. Asbestosis is associated with asbestos in industry. Allergic alveolitis is caused by organic dusts (see farmer’s lung). Industrial chemicals can damage the lungs if inhaled, or other major organs if they enter the bloodstream via the lungs or skin. Examples include fumes of cadmium, beryllium, lead, and benzene. Carbon tetrachloride and vinyl chloride are causes of liver disease. Many of these compounds can cause kidney damage. Work-related skin disorders include contact dermatitis and squamous cell carcinoma. Rare infectious diseases that are more common in certain jobs include brucellosis and Q fever (from livestock), psittacosis (from birds), and leptospirosis (from sewage). People who work with blood or blood products are at increased risk of viral hepatitis (see hepatitis, viral) and AIDS, as are healthcare professionals. The nuclear industry and some healthcare professions use measures to reduce the danger from radiation hazards. Other occupational disorders include writer’s cramp, carpal tunnel syndrome, singer’s nodes, Raynaud’s phenomenon, deafness, and cataracts.


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