Silica is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks. When inhaled into the lungs, silica particles cause tissue damage leading to the condition known as silicosis. When silica dust is inhaled, its sharp particles cause cuts and abrasions on the lungs which leads to inflammation, scarring and hardening. It’s a serious condition that causes severe shortness of breath and is often debilitating for the sufferer - preventing them from walking even short distances or climbing the stairs in their own home.
Silica continues to damage the lungs even after exposure has ceased. Unfortunately, this damage is irreversible. Those most at risk work in the quarrying, construction, mining, glass, ceramic and sandblasting industries. As an occupational disease, silicosis is sometimes known as:
Both acute and chronic silicosis are incurable diseases, with symptoms including rapid breathing, a productive cough, fever, chest pain, the appearance of ridges on the finger and toenails and in severe cases, sufferers may notice a blue tinge to the skin.
If you have been diagnosed with silicosis and you believe your exposure was due to negligence on the part of someone else, you may be able to claim compensation. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch with us today.
Acute silicosis is the least common type. It occurs when a person has been exposed to a large amount of silica over a short period of time. The symptoms are severe, including fluid build-up in the lungs and low blood oxygen levels.
Sufferers are at an increased risk of diseases such as lung cancer, kidney disease, tuberculosis, arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In some cases, acute silicosis can lead to death.
Chronic Silicosis occurs in those who have been exposed to silica over decades. In the beginning, chronic silicosis may cause no noticeable symptoms, but over time the continuing damage to the lungs can develop into difficulty breathing - both during exercise and at rest.
Other symptoms might include weight loss and fatigue. Ultimately, chronic silicosis can lead to respiratory failure.
The symptoms for accelerated silicosis are the same as for the chronic form of the disease, except that the symptoms appear sooner.
If you are exposed to silica dust in your place of work and you’ve developed health problems as a result, it’s important to see a doctor and get a diagnosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with silicosis and it can be proven that your exposure was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
There are strict time limits in place, so it’s important to speak to an expert as soon as possible. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch with us today..