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Am J Ind Med. 1986;9(6):567-75.

Rare-earth pneumoconiosis: a new case.


A new case of rare-earth (RE) pneumoconiosis is described. The subject had worked as a photoengraver for 13 years and had not been exposed for 17 years. Chest X-ray showed a diffuse nodular pattern (q 2/3-ILO/1980). The patient was asymptomatic despite a restrictive spirometric impairment. The diagnosis derived from the finding, in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, of abnormal levels of La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Tb, Yb, and Lu. The presence of these elements was demonstrated by two methods: the neutron activation analysis and (as regards Ce alone) the X-ray energy spectrometry of mineral particles observed with electron microscope. Abnormal levels of rare earths were demonstrated also in the nails, suggesting an absorption of the RE from the lung.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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