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Exposed to Silica Dust at Work? Your Health Is at Risk.

Mark E. Moreland, Attorney at Law May 4, 2017

Silica exposure can have serious, even deadly, consequences, and if you faced exposure at work, your health is at risk. Certain Missouri workers would be wise to recognize the signs of silicosis, a serious illness associated with prolonged exposure to silica dust. This illness can develop over just a few weeks of exposure to this dangerous dust.

Most individuals who have silicosis first notice bronchitis-type symptoms, including coughing and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing the possible effects of silicosis or have already received this unfortunate diagnosis, you would be wise to know how to protect your rights and get the help you deserve.

The Symptoms of Silicosis

People who suffer from silicosis may first think that they are suffering from a common respiratory illness, such as bronchitis. Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with silicosis include:

  • Fever

  • Sharp chest pain

  • Cough

  • Breathing difficulty

  • Wheezing

Silicosis may start with just an abnormal chest x-ray and a few small symptoms, but over time, these issues can increase in severity and more problems can arise, such as:

  • Extensive lung scarring

  • Leg swelling

  • Increased breathing rate

  • Bluish discoloration of the lips

This disease can have a serious impact on a person’s life, including his or her ability to participate in everyday activities and hold regular employment. Silicosis is more than an illness, it is a diagnosis that can have life-altering repercussions for a victim and his or her family.

Who Is Susceptible to Silicosis?

Silicosis is common in workers who face exposure to this substance at their jobs. Limiting exposure is a main step toward preventing this illness in certain workers, and using safety equipment and having regular examinations can help as well. People who work in the following jobs may have a higher risk of developing silicosis:

  • Mining

  • Construction

  • Masonry

  • Sand blasting

  • Glass manufacturing

  • Ceramics

  • Steel work

  • Quarrying

  • Stone work

Like other occupational diseases, silicosis can be costly, both physically and financially. Individuals who have this illness due to exposure on the job may have a rightful claim to compensation. There are Missouri laws that provide compensation for people who suffer from silicosis, mesothelioma and other illnesses related to toxic exposure on the job.

If you or a loved one is suffering from silicosis, it can be beneficial to secure the help of an attorney in order to seek compensation from all available sources. With the right help, you can get what you need for treatment, future care and other needs.