Occupational medicine doctors have long known that there are some common jobs that can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They say that some of these professions or work sites are more likely to cause the disease than others. In fact, some work health and safety experts note that some of these links have been scientifically proven and defined. COPD is a group of lung diseases that can cause difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. The most common type of COPD is called emphysema. Emphysema and other types of COPD are commonly thought to be caused only by smoking but doctors say a dangerous work condition can set it off or exacerbate the problem. Specific jobs that are commonly associated with COPD are coal mine workers, industrial and some types of factory workers, concrete workers, and those who work with cotton fibers. Public health professionals say other jobs can cause the disease and this should be discussed with your doctor. They also note that COPD is only one disease or illness caused by work. Other work related illnesses can include anemia, burns, other work injury, or even cancers. A workers comp lawyer in New York explained that the cause of an illness or injury is not always so clear at first. Some workers find that they require an advocate to fight on their behalf to receive the proper treatment and insurance coverage. Check out more on COPD illnesses caused by work exposure here.