Types of Occupational Lung Diseases
Occupational lung diseases can be caused directly by exposure to a variety of dusts, chemicals, proteins or organisms, or by your body’s immune responses to these exposures.These lung diseases include:
- Bronchiolitis obliterans
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Medical surveillance of lung disease
- Occupational asthma
- Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
What to Expect
You will speak to a nurse clinician coordinator to schedule your appointment. If you have had any prior scans, pulmonary function testing, arterial blood gases and/or exercise studies outside of Northwestern Medicine, we will ask you to have those records sent to us prior to your appointment. This will allow our team to review your data ahead of time, making your visit as efficient and informative as possible.
You will meet with a specialist who will perform an exam and discuss your prior test results. Together, you will establish a detailed follow-up plan, which may include additional testing or treatment.
Program physicians Robert A. Cohen, MD, and Leonard H.T. Go, MD, perform independent medical evaluations (IME) of patients who have possible occupational lung diseases. An IME is used for workers’ compensation and disability claims. We will provide a report with an informed expert opinion on the pulmonary diagnosis, suspected cause, and impairment associated with the disease, if any. To request an IME, please contact our team at 312.695.1843. TTY 711.
Northwestern Medicine’s Occupational and Black Lung Program partners with the University of Illinois Chicago for continued research. For more information, please visit the Mining Education and Research Center website or team page.
- Chest x-ray classification for dust exposure
- Disability evaluation and workers’ compensation assistance for public safety personnel
- Independent medical evaluations of patients who have possible occupational lung diseases
- International consultations
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) B Reader Certification
- United States Center of Excellence
Meet the Team
The Northwestern Medicine team is highly experienced in providing detailed recommendations, state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques and thorough follow-up plans to help ensure you receive excellent medical care.
Patient Education and Resources
To learn more about workplace safety, visit: