When most individuals hear the terminology “workplace injury,” they often envision someone suffering an amputation, spinal cord injury or head trauma. The legal field often groups occupational diseases into these categories as well.
Lung disease is one of more common occupational diseases with which workers get diagnosed. These often result from toxic exposure.
How common is toxic exposure in the workplace?
A United Nations (UN) study shows that toxic exposure is perhaps the biggest occupational hazard in the world. The organization’s data shows that at least one worker dies from it every 30 seconds.
Lung cancer is perhaps the leading occupational disease in the world, accounting for at least 86% of workers’ deaths. Many of these cases are attributable to the 200 or more chemicals regularly used in workplaces. Workers who do not die from toxic exposure may be left with other lingering medical conditions, including neurological and fertility issues.
Job-related toxic exposure doesn’t discriminate
You might think that the only individuals that would have to worry about toxic exposure are those who work around chemicals, such as in laboratories. Those certainly aren’t the only workers who have to worry about toxic exposure, though.
Some Individuals not working in the above-referenced fields who have an enhanced risk of toxic exposure:
- Construction workers renovating homes, who might come into cancer-causing asbestos fibers while removing insulation
- Manufacturers of musical instruments can inhale copper dust
- Pet food makers can breathe in a corrosive substance
- Office workers who might be exposed to Legionnaire’s Disease (a deadly form of pneumonia) due to exposure to their building’s poorly maintained water systems
- A hairstylist in Pennsylvania breathing in formaldehyde, ammonia and other toxic substances while styling hair or cleaning their tools
There’s no shortage of examples in which workers may become exposed to toxic substances leading to respiratory conditions and lung diseases while on the job. Speak with the appropriate representative at your job about the steps to take to receive the compensated care you need. Learn more about your rights if they are less than helpful in pointing you in the right direction.