Silicosis is a respiratory disease caused by inhalation of dust containing the mineral silica. Silica is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust, and when in a grounded form it holds no risk. The danger occurs when silica is ground into a fine powder and released into the air, becoming an inhalable dust particle.
When fine silica particles are taken into the lungs, they become lodged in the upper terminal portions of the lungs where gas is exchanged. As a defensive mechanism the body creates scar tissue in order to try and isolate the particle and protect the rest of the body from it. This scar tissue builds up over time and ultimately creates breathing problems (or worse) for the effected individual.
Silicosis is dangerous due to its accumalative properties. Generally speaking, as exposure to silica dust continues, more and more scar nodes develop and stay in the lungs. After 10-15 years, individuals can find themselves with silicosis, which is incurable and has no current form of medication to reduce the effects.
Who is at Risk?
A wide variety of people are at risk, but all of them are individuals who work with elements of the Earth. Here is a list of potential hazardous occupations:
• Miners and underground workers who are in constant contact with stone and dirt, especially if there is drilling or blasting happening.
• Stone cutters and masonry workers
• Individuals who do sand blasting on a routine basis
• Glass cutters
• Foundry workers
What Are the Symptoms?
Unfortunately most of the basic symptoms for Silicosis are non-descript. Things to watch out for include shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, fever, and weight loss
In more severe cases the patient may develop cyanosis, which is a blue coloration in the skin. By the time this symptom occurs the disorder is in its late stages.
Silicosis can be misdiagnosed as pulmonary edema, pneuonia, or tuberculosis.
Are There Any Treatments?
Currently very few treatment options are available. There are no medications that can reduce or eliminate the scar tissue caused by silica particles. In severe cases, a lung transplant can be done, but this is a complicated procedure and is avoided if it all possible.
The best way to avoid serious Silicosis is to gain knowledge of how it occurs and avoid exposure as much as possible.
We Can Help You Today:
Please use our free lawyer consultation service or call 1-800-603-6833 if you or a loved one has been exposed to silicosis and detect employer negligence. All consultations are free of charge and will be answered as soon as possible.