Silicosis is considered by medical professionals to be one of the world’s oldest occupational diseases of the world. When Florida workers inhale this disabling causing dust called Silica, they may likely develop a life-threatening disease or cancer. In fact, over one million employees are exposed to Silica every year. Once the Silica dust particles are inhaled by workers, they penetrate the respiratory system within the lungs. Inhalation of Silica leads to scar tissue build up within the lungs, which ultimately impairs the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the blood.
Silicosis: Signs and Symptoms
Silicosis is slow to develop— sometimes a silent killer—which creeps up on the lives of hard-working Florida employees. Also often misdiagnosed for other diseases, doctors sometimes don’t recognize the cause for the patient’s lung disease as originating from a hazardous work condition.
- Shortness of breath, which increases after exertion
- Labored or rapid breathing
- Persistent cough
- Weight loss
- Decrease in appetite
- Chest pain
- Cracked nail beds
- Blue skin-cyanosis
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
Since Silicosis is essentially a life sentence, there is no cure. Silicosis treatment includes only attempting to alleviate or reduce life-complicating symptoms, such as:
- Cough suppressants
- Antibiotics which treat lung infections
- Oxygen treatment
- Tuberculosis treatment
- Lung transplant
- Remove exposure to Silica at work
Occupational Silicosis: Prevention
According to OSHA, new laws would at least reduce, if not prevent the life-reducing impact of exposure to Silica. Employers must control or reduce Silica dust by the use of various measures including spraying down the atmosphere with water, sucking up dust with industrial vacuums, and using a dry air filtering system in order to help protect workers. Sadly, preventing or reducing exposure to Occupational Silicosis is not expensive, or even difficult, reports OSHA. Nonetheless, employers continue to place their valuable employees at high risk for cancer, and even death.
To find out if you have a case for Florida workers’ compensation benefits due to exposure to silica, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld for a free legal consultation with a skilled South Florida workers’ compensation attorney to determine if you have a case. Call [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].