If you have worked in rock drilling, sandblasting, mining, drilling, or crushing of concrete, there is a strong possibility you have been exposed to silica.
Crystalline silica is a mineral that is common in the Earth's surface layers. Prolonged exposure and inhalation of dust when crushing ores may cause your lungs to fill, causing a fatal lung disease called Silicosis.
The tragedy is that silicosis is irreversible, yet preventable; it is preventable if companies put in place safety measures and provide safety gear. Sadly, most companies offer only dust masks, which do very little to prevent inhalation.
Silicosis continues to progress long after exposure and may take one of the three forms below:
Chronic: Remains undetected 15-20 years after exposure.
Accelerated: When highly exposed to silica, the disease will manifest in 5-10 years.
Acute: The issue may manifest from a few weeks to five years of high exposure.
Signs and Symptoms
You may exhibit shortness of breath, appetite loss, fatigue, chest pains, and fever. In addition, you are at risk of contracting tuberculosis, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and even lung fibrosis.
If you have worked in one of the industries where you are exposed to silica, you may be suffering from silicosis.
The first step is to see a lung specialist who will conduct a chest X-ray and a lung function test. Once the medical report is out, it is important to review it with your doctor so that you can know its medical implications. The second step is to consider taking legal action.
This is where a personal injury law attorney comes in. Based on your medical review, you may be able to get a free consultation. He will advise you on your legal standing and assist you to get legal redress.
This may not bring back your health but it may go a long way towards easing your medical burden and providing an income to your loved ones at a time when you are incapacitated.
Find out if your attorney can commit to a contingency fee which means that if no compensation is given, no fee shall be paid at the end of the suit.
If you have worked in the mining sector, you could easily have been exposed to silica, so pay attention if you notice any worrisome symptoms. You are advised to have a medical exam without further delay, and then follow up with legal action if necessary.