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Silicosis Injury

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At least 300 people die each year because of silicosis

Silicosis Injury Litigation

In the United States more than two million workers are exposed to Silicosis and an estimated 100,000 will eventually develop Silicosis. Silicosis is lung disease caused by overexposure to crystalline silica that workers breath when exposed to fine sand dust. The disease is incurable and irreversible and may progress even after the exposure ends. Silicosis is one of the oldest occupational diseases, still kills thousands of people every year, everywhere in the world.

This oldest of occupational lung disorders is brought on by inhaling grains of silica (quartz) in mines, foundries, and factories. The particles cause gradual scarring in the lungs that, after many years, may end in emphysema. The most common form of silicosis might not be detected for 10-35 years after a worker's initial exposure

One of the highest risks for US workers is abrasive blasting with silica sand, which is used to prep surfaces before painting, creates very dangerous conditions resulting in exposures as much as 200 times higher than safe levels determined by the US Occupational Safety and Health, which has concluded that silica sand be banned for use in abrasive sandblasting. Workers with very high exposures are at greater risk. The particles are much smaller than sand found at a beach and are often microscopic.

The inhalation of these silica particles has also been linked with lung cancer, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The silicosis itself may lead to other conditions including lung fibrosis and emphysema. The disease is also linked to fatal pulmonary tuberculosis actually called silico-tuberculosis. As the disease progresses it may become disabling, the person will have increasing difficulty breathing and may die.

Over time scar tissue develops in the lungs, which damages the lungs' ability to work properly. Silicosis has various stages and degrees of severity: chronic, accelerated and acute forms.

Silicosis Facts

  • Silicosis kills thousands of people around the world every year.
  • It is estimated that nearly 2 million workers in the United States are exposed to crystalline silica, with several hundred thousand at dangerous levels.
  • About 300 American workers will die with silicosis each year.
  • In an extensive study conducted from 1968 to 1994, there were a reported 14,824 silicosis deaths.
  • Experts on workplace safety believe the disease is nearly 100 percent preventable with modern technology. Proper use of protective gear and equipment by employers and workers could reduce exposures to safe levels.
  • In the United States , of the estimated more than two million workers who are exposed an estimated 100,000 will eventually develop silicosis
  • Of the more than 2 million workers exposed silica dust on the job and about 10% of them are at a high risk of developing silicosis
  • Silicosis is a disease that is 100 percent preventable.

Workers at Risk Include:

  • Persons engaged in chipping, hammering, crushing, loading and transporting rock products
  • Persons involved in the sandblasting of buildings or old oilfield equipment involving concrete or other materials
  • Persons who extensively saw, hammer, drill, grind, chip, or work with concrete or other rock substances
  • Persons involved in the shipbuilding industry
  • Miners, both surface and underground
  • Railroad workers
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Welders and grinders
  • Foundry workers ( mold shake-outs or knockouts, sand screening, sand recovery, conveying, grinding, etc.),
  • Cement, stone, clay, brick and glass production industries are at risk. 
  • Manufacture of paints
  • Plastics Industry,
  • Makers of soaps, and detergents also produce silica dust. 
  • Construction workers

    Basically any type of work that involves the creation of large dust clouds containing silica can be hazardous. Silica dust may be invisible to the naked eye and is very light and often remains airborne for long periods. If a single worker is diagnosed with silicosis, his co-workers are at high risk of developing silicosis.

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