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Silicosis, Lung Cancer

Occupational Hazard

Silicosis is an incurable lung disease that was once very common among industrial workers who were exposed to silica or quartz dust. In 2002, 148 deaths were linked to silicosis as compared to over 1,100 in 1968. The Center for Disease Control notes that thousands of Americans continue to be over-exposed to mineral dust in the workplace and new silicosis cases are still being reported.

Silica is a common mineral found in most kinds of rock and silica sand is used to make glass and is a common ingredient in many industrial products. Anyone working in an environment of grinding or digging into rocks, such as road builders, stonecutters and plant workers, usually have the highest risk of breathing in airborne crystalline silica. Other activities with an increased exposure to silica include sandblasting, manufacturing glass, cement, or asphalt, jack-hammering, drilling wells, mixing concrete, cutting glass, brick, or concrete, and mining.

Symptoms of Silicosis

As the early stages of the disease may go unnoticed, someone exposed to silica decades ago may begin to show signs of illness. Symptoms of silicosis include chronic cough, shortness of breath with exercise, fever and occasionally bluish skin at the ear lobes or lips. Doctors believe that silica slowly dissolves in the lungs, producing a chemical reaction that poisons the cells, eventually causing great damage and scarring of the lungs.

People diagnosed with silicosis are also at a high risk for infectious lung diseases such as tuberculosis. Late stage symptoms of silicosis are increased fatigue, extreme shortness of breath, weight loss, chest pain, and respiratory failure, which may cause death. It may take 10 or more years of exposure to silica to create chronic silicosis disease.

Silicosis has been known by many other names - miner's phthisis, potter's asthma, grinder's rot, stonecutter's disease - depending upon what job is involved.

If you work in a job which exposes you to silica dust, make sure you are adequately protected with safety gear.

Register your Silicosis Case

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Posted by

Thanks for mentioning that silicosis is an incurable lung disease that was very common among industrial workers who were exposed to silica dust. You also said that silica is a common material found in most kinds of rock and silica sand. I think it's a good idea to choose a lawyer that has specialized in accidents and personal injuries


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