Suffering an injury at work, such as a laceration or a broken bone, is painful and can result in missing time from the job. Typically, you are well aware when you are injured, and you can have the matter dealt with as soon as possible.
On the other hand, there are occupational illnesses that can be caused by exposure to chemicals and toxins that have symptoms that may not become readily apparent for months or even years. These symptoms could become very serious or even fatal if not treated in time.
Silicosis is an incurable and deadly form of lung disease that can negatively impact your body's ability to battle infections. As such, silicosis can make you more vulnerable to other lung diseases such as tuberculosis.
Silicosis typically results from breathing in crystalline silica dust. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, crystalline silica dust is found in such abrasives as rock, paint, concrete and sandstone. This dust can become airborne when performing such tasks as grinding mortar, removing rust or paint, using power tools, or many other types of construction jobs.
There are three types of silicosis: chronic, accelerated, and acute. Chronic silicosis typically takes 10 years or longer to develop and is caused by low levels of exposure to crystalline silica dust. If the exposure is more pronounced, it is possible to develop accelerated silicosis in five to 10 years. Acute silicosis can occur after only a few weeks or months of high levels of exposure.
If you have been diagnosed with silicosis and believe it was due to exposure to crystalline silica dust during the course of your job, you might want to have a New York workers' compensation attorney investigate the matter. Toxic exposure cases can be complex, which is why you may benefit from the representation of an attorney who has experience handling occupational disease cases.