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What is Welders Lung?

Siderosis, (Welders Lung) is a type of occupational lung disease (pneumoconiosis) caused by the inhalation of dust or fumes containing iron or iron oxide particles. It is most commonly seen in arc welders. Iron dust and fumes are also found in mining, steelmaking, iron or steel rolling, metal polishing industries, and in work with ochre pigments. The inhaled iron particles accumulate in the lungs, and while this collection of iron in the lungs is visible upon x-ray, it is usually not associated with inflammation or altered lung function.

Fortunately, in the case of Welder’s Lung, apart from shadows on the lung shown by x-rays, it is thought that the condition is generally benign (it causes few symptoms) so lung function is not usually affected. However, it is possible that, in some cases, the condition may cause breathing problems and other respiratory symptoms.


Approximately one million workers worldwide perform welding as part of their work duties and therefore they should be aware that Pneumoconiosis sometimes does not cause any symptoms. However, when symptoms do develop, they can include:

  • Cough (with or without mucus)
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath, especially during exercise

If pneumoconiosis causes severe lung fibrosis, breathing can become extremely difficult. When this happens, the patient’s lips and fingernails may have a bluish tinge. In very advanced disease, there also may be signs of leg swelling caused by too much strain on the heart.

If you believe to be suffering from any of the above symptoms and you have previously or currently worked in a Welding environment then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. We understand that making an injury claim can be extremely daunting, however our friendly and specialised injury lawyers will make the process as smooth and pain free as possible. Feel free to contact our Industrial Disease Team today on 01254 505090.

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Tel: 0800 205 5556

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