Our Blog

A Look At Silicosis

A Look At Silicosis

Silicosis is a preventable but potentially fatal lung disease. It is caused by inhaling silica (crystalline silicon dioxide) particles. Because quartz, a crystalline silica, is so abundant in the earth’s crust, workers in a wide range of occupations are exposed to the dust on a regular basis.

Medical professionals have known about the dangers of inhaling this dust for decades. There is no cure once a person develops silicosis, but there are treatments available. In the most severe cases of the disease, a lung transplant is often the only option. In a report published in 2015, data showed that silicosis contributed to or caused the death of approximately 100 deaths in America each year.

Chronic silicosis, the most common form of the disease, takes about 10 years to develop from the date of first exposure. Death does not occur, typically, until several years later. If workers are exposed to high levels of silica, the disease may be accelerated.

Occupations that have known high rates of exposure to silica include: quarrying, mining, rock drilling, sandblasting, road construction, stone masonry, pottery making, and tunneling operations. People who fabricate and install engineered stone countertops are also at risk for exposure, as are people who perform hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells.

The mortality rate attributed to silicosis has declined in the United States over the years but continues to occur. The fact that there are still people dying from this disease makes it clear that limiting workplace exposure needs to happen more regularly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has prevention strategies in place that employers in the occupations listed, and others, can put in place.

If you work in an occupation that has a known risk of exposure to silicosis, it is important that you see your doctor on a yearly basis for a routine health screening. The earlier silicosis is detected, the sooner treatment can begin.

If you have been injured at work and need more information about workers’ comp in South Carolina, please call our office today. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

Photo Credit

The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes regarding legal issues in South Carolina and are not intended to convey detailed legal advice on specific issues. Transmission of the information contained in this site or any sites linked hereto is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions we are properly authorized to do so and do not seek to represent anyone in any jurisdiction where this site does not comply with applicable laws and bar rules. The lawyers of the law firm of Christmas Injury Lawyers are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this site without first seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your area.

Attorneys principally practice in Mt. Pleasant office, but we will meet you at the time and office most convenient to you. We will also come to your hospital room or home upon request.

The information given above are examples of actual cases with actual clients our law firm has handled in the past. The reviews listed on our website are endorsements and/or testimonials from actual clients. Any results our law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

In an effort to continue serving the community while keeping everyone healthy and safe, our office is offering phone and video consultations. To schedule or learn more call (843) 884-6615 or fill out a contact form here.