Sunday, October 09, 2005

Silicosis Claims

We have expanded our workers’ compensation practice to include silicosis claims. Silicosis is a potentially deadly lung disease caused by the inhalation of silica, mineral dust and sand. More than one million U.S. workers are exposed and each year hundreds of these workers die from silicosis. The crystalline silica is commonly found in sandstone, granite, slate, coal, and pure silica sand. It is generally recognized that people working in the following industries have the greatest risk of being exposed to silica dust and contracting silicosis: construction, mining – tunneling, sandblasting, stone crushing, rock quarries, masonry - cement work , foundry workers, demolition, sandblast dust exposure to other non-sandblasters in work area, cutting or manufacturing heat-resistant bricks (fire brick), manufacturing of glass products, railroad construction, plumbing & painting. Workers exposed to silica dust are often exposed to asbestos as well and many will develop asbestos lung diseases including a rare lung disease called mesothelioma.

We are reviewing injury cases from surviving family members and individuals who have been diagnosed with Silicosis or have been injured from exposure to mineral dust and sand. Silicosis is a completely preventable disease if the appropriate protective equipment is supplied by the employer. This includes protective clothing and respiratory protection.

Damage to the lung tissue means that the lungs cannot perform their function of supplying oxygen to the blood as well as they should. The symptoms resulting from this include a cough, with or without sputum, shortness of breath particularly on exertion, chest tightness, fatigue, loss of appetite and cyanosis (bluish skin). These symptoms of silicosis develop over time as the lung tissue becomes irreversibly damaged by fibrosis and is replaced with solid nodules of scar tissue. This gets getting worse as the lung damage increases. Silicosis treatment is very limited as there is no cure for the disease

If you or a loved one experience any of the symptoms listed above, see a doctor so that a proper diagnosis can be made and know that you may have a legal remedy.