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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Are You A Construction Worker? Do You Have Trouble Breathing?

If your daily activities on a construction site include sand blasting, jack hammering, mixing concrete, drilling through concrete, cutting concrete or bricks, tuck pointing or tunneling and you have noticed a strange shortness of breath, consult a doctor immediately. You may have developed silicosis as a result of breathing in crystalline silica, a basic component of stone and sand.

When the tiny particles of crystalline silica enter the lungs, they make many micro cuts. The lungs respond by building up scar tissue, which inhibits the lungs ability to absorb oxygen. Furthermore, the scar tissue build up makes the lungs more susceptible to infections, like tuberculosis.

Chronic silicosis develops after many years of breathing in small amounts of crystalline silica and usually results in respiratory failure. Accelerated silicosis develops after breathing in large concentrations of crystalline silica in a shorter amount of time than the chronic variant, and usually results in shortness of breath and fatigue. Acute silicosis occurs after breathing in very high concentrations of crystalline silica over the course of two years or less and usually results in severe respiratory failure and death.

Employers can protect workers from crystalline silica exposure by making sure that any work area used for stone cutting is properly ventilated. Also, spraying stone with water before cutting can drastically reduce the amount of crystalline silica produced. Employers can also require the use of N95 NIOSH certified respirators.

I Have Developed A Respiratory Disease From Working Construction And Need A Lawyer

If you have been working construction for years and your employer has never talked to you about the dangers of crystalline silica, consider consulting a legal expert on workers compensation. The damage caused by breathing in crystalline silica is permanent. By working alongside an experienced workers compensation attorney you can recover the compensation that you need for your costly medical bills.

[Did You Know: Adding water to saw blades can drastically decrease a stonecutter’s exposure to crystalline silica.]

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys

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