Occupational and environmental lung diseases are a group of conditions caused by repeated, long-term exposure or a single, serious contact to toxic or irritating substances that are breathed into the lungs. Such respiratory diseases may be related to a specific occupation or may be conditions caused or aggravated by a chemical, physical or biological hazard in the workplace or other environment. Common occupational and environmental lung diseases are asbestosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease (ILD) and mesothelioma.
Board-certified pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons trained in occupational medicine, epidemiology and environmental health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Lung Center provide comprehensive diagnostic care and treatment for patients experiencing adverse health effects due to a range of workplace or environmental exposures. Our clinical experience and collaboration with specialists throughout BWH results in a highly informed diagnosis and a cohesive treatment plan for patients.
We also educate patients and families about environmental health hazards to reduce and prevent related illnesses and refer patients to our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program as needed. Physician-scientists in the Lung Research Center have conducted numerous groundbreaking studies focused on the link between unhealthy work, school and living environments and pulmonary diseases. The International Mesothelioma Program at BWH is the largest care and research center in the world devoted solely to mesothelioma.
The Lung Center is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) at the 15 Francis Street entrance. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary and critical care medicine and thoracic imaging are adjacent to one another, making accessibility and appointment scheduling seamless.