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July 1961

Industrial Pulmonary Diseases

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(1):166-167. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620070168027

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This book contains the papers delivered at a symposium on industrial chest disease held at the Postgraduate Medical School of London in March, 1958. Industrial lung diseases are primarily the pneumoconioses. Of these, coal miner's pneumoconiosis is given the greatest attention because so many individuals are involved, and a hot dispute continues regarding the etiology. The theory prevalent for the last twenty years is that this disorder represents silicosis in coal miners. This concept is probably an over-simplification. A second theory that coal miner's pneumoconiosis is a combination of silicosis and tuberculosis in coal miners does not explain all of the findings either. An allergic reaction in the lung has been invoked as a possible explanation. Much work still needs to be done to pin down the true etiology of this important disease.

Readers will enjoy the fascinating account concerning tin smelting and the pneumoconiosis caused by tin. Dr. Robertson

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