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Silica dust exposure can lead to long-term health problems

On Behalf of | May 30, 2017 | Workplace Injuries

Some jobs come with certain risks, and the men and women employed in these positions know that they may face a higher chance of suffering an injury. However, few Ohio workers may consider the risk involved with dangerous exposure to toxic and dangerous substances. For some, the consequences of this may not be evident until years, even decades later.

One of these threats exists in the form of silica dust exposure. Workers in certain jobs face a higher chance of coming into contact with this substance, which can have serious or deadly consequences for that individual. If you were exposed or recently learned that you have a medical condition because of silica exposure, you would be wise to know how to protect your rights.

Silicosis: How it happens

Silicosis is a very serious medical condition caused by exposure to crystalline silica, also known as silica dust. An individual exposed to this may breathe it in unknowingly, after which it could implant in the lung. Over time, this could lead to silicosis and other serious health problems. Individuals employed in the following types of jobs are more likely to face exposure to crystalline silica:

  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Masonry
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Sand blasting
  • Ceramics
  • Steel industry work
  • Stone cutting
  • Quarry work

There are ways that individuals who work in these types of jobs could lower the risk of inhalation and development of health problems in the future. From the provision of proper safety equipment by employers to receiving regular health monitoring, it may be possible to minimize the impact of this dangerous substance.

How silicosis affects your life

Silicosis affects each victim differently, but one of the most common symptoms first noticed is a cough. This is possibly followed by other signs of lung scarring and damage, such as fever, chest pain, phlegm production and difficulty breathing.

Ultimately, this could lead to difficulty doing everyday tasks, living with constant pain and, in some cases, death. Victims could find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of how they may secure certain types of financial support because of work-related silicosis.

Protecting your interests after a serious diagnosis

Any worker who becomes ill due to a medical condition that is the result of his or her job has a rightful claim to workers’ compensation benefits. If you believe that your silicosis or other serious illness is the result of your job, you may seek experienced and compassionate legal guidance as you navigate the insurance claims process and fight for the financial support you deserve.