Between 1968 and 2002, almost 75 million American death certificates listed silicosis as either the underlying or a contributing cause of death. Even though the mortality rate tied to silicosis has dropped by more than 90% since the late 60s, OSHA still estimates that millions of workers are exposed to dangerous levels of silica on the job, from construction to mining to agriculture.
A: Silicosis is an illness associated with the inhalation of “respirable silica dust.” Silica is a mineral found throughout the earth’s crust, in sand, rock and minerals. When inhaled, the particles cause inflammation of the respiratory system, which in turn causes “fibrosis,” a hardening of the lungs. Fibrosis then makes it difficult for the sufferer to breathe. Researchers have also linked inhalation of silica to tuberculosis, as well as renal and auto-immune respiratory conditions.
A: Yes, though silicosis, once contracted, is incurable, it can be prevented. NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) recommends evaluation of potential conditions before work begins. If the work to be done will generate any type of fine dust, it is recommended that businesses use a variety of methods to capture the dust before it reaches workers. This may involve a vacuum-based dust collection system. Additionally, using water in the process can often keep the dust particles from becoming airborne. Accordingly, watering roads around a job site, using water in blasting or drilling operations, and cleaning with water are all ways to minimize exposure to silica.
A: Yes. To recover, you must show that you were exposed to silica as a part of your job, and that you have been diagnosed with silicosis.
At Pyrros & Serres, we bring more than 50 years of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers throughout the borough of Queens and New York City metropolitan area. We built our successful practice on a commitment to personal service and attention. As a result, many of our new cases come to us as referrals from our colleagues in the legal profession or from other clients.
We handle all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:
Occupational Illness | Back and Neck Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury| Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hearing or Vision Loss | Accidental Death
For more information about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.