A recent international case-control data meta-analysis shows a population attributed 16% for occupational factors in the cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis average (IPF). The IPF is explained only in part by smoking, genetic factors and other prevalent diseases. The aim of this analysis is to summarise recent progress to determine which occupational exposures are relevant. IPF is a rare condition, but it is the most common idiopathic pneumonia. Epidemiological studies indicate an increase in IPF incidence, particularly among older men. There are important links to IPF and organic dust, including animal animals, birds, animal feed, metal dust, wood dust and silica/minerals. Effect estimates differ between studies and are affected by the distribution, nature and definition of cases. Inhaling asbestos is known to cause normal cross-pneumonia (as seen histologically in IPF), but the association between the ingestion of asbestos and IPF and mesothelioma mortality is significantly aligned which suggests that low exposure to asbestos could cause IPF.

Research must concentrate on the relationship between exposure-response between asbestos and other occupational risks and IPF. The IPF should be recognised with a substantial occupational burden by funding institutions and decision makers.

Reference: https://journals.lww.com/co-allergy/Abstract/2020/04000/Occupational_exposures_and_idiopathic_pulmonary.5.aspx