Silica is one of the most common minerals on earth, and is commonly found in a wide variety of materials and products. Dust from the crushing or breaking of sand or rocks may include silica particles. These particles cause silicosis, which is a serious lung disease that is often misdiagnosed. Exposure to silica can also cause lung cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis, and may lead to autoimmune disorders.
Sandblasters, miners and foundry workers are particularly at risk of developing silicosis and other illnesses. Even though many workers in these industries have tried to protect themselves by wearing respirators, some still have developed silicosis due to defective respirators.
If a loved one has been killed because of exposure to silica dust, you may have a wrongful death case.
What is Silicosis?
Silicosis is a serious lung disease that is caused by exposure to silica, one of the most common minerals on earth. Crushing or breaking sand or rocks containing silica releases silica particles into the air, where they are inhaled by workers like sandblasters, miners and foundry workers. These particles cause inflammation and then scarring of the lungs.
Types of Silicosis
There are three types of silicosis; they are defined by how long the worker was exposed, and to how much silica.
Simple chronic silicosis develops after more than 20 years of exposure to low amounts of dust.
Accelerated silicosis develops after 5-15 years of exposure to larger amounts of silica dust.
Acute silicosis can develop after only weeks or months of exposure to massive amounts of silica dust.
All types of silicosis can cause these symptoms:
- Breathlessness or breathing difficulty
- Chronic cough
- Loss of appetite and weight lossAbout
- Chest pains
Silicosis has no cure or specific treatment. Patients with this disease are often given cough suppressants, bronchodilators, and oxygen if needed.
What Should I Do Next?
Silicosis is a serious condition – the faster you act, the better. If you were exposed to silica and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s imperative to see your doctor right away. A silicosis diagnosis is lifelong and a permanent treatment plan can be costly.
Workers who are suffering from silica exposure and can lose their ability to work and support their families. When medical bills and long term care costs begin to pile up, it may seem like an impossible challenge without the help of an experienced attorney.
If you have seen your doctor and have been diagnosed with silicosis after exposure to silica particles, please contact us for a FREE consultation. Our silicosis attorneys have recovered billions for victims just like you.