Did Defective Face Masks Cause My Silicosis?

On February 23, 2011, in Personal Injury, Silicosis, by K. Lindsay Rakers

Mediawebserver.jpgMaybe. As a defective respirator attorney, I have seen masks cause black lung disease in coal miners and silicosis lung disease in factory workers. I handled defective mask cases for three years and helped countless injured workers. Coal dust found in surface and underground mines has been known to move right through the mask and/or respirators and settling in coal miner’s lungs. Likewise, factory workers are oftentimes exposed to silica dust and particles which can move through the masks. Silica can come in a crystaline and noncrystalline format. Quartz is the most prominent form of silica and it can be found in sand, gravel, clay and other types of rock. Signs and symptoms of black lung and silicosis include shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
The leading manufacturers of these face masks include 3M, MSA (Mine Safety Appliances) and American Optical. Although many mine and factory employers provide face masks to their employee workers pursuant to OSHA regulations. The trouble is, these mask manufacturers did not fully explain the limitations of the masks to the employers. So while coal miners and factory workers may have been diligent in wearing the masks, but the masks still failed them. The small, oftentimes invisible particles, make their way deep into the lungs of the workers and can cause serious lung disease.
If you are a current or former miner or factory worker or have otherwise been exposed to silica rock, pay attention to your lung condition. If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing shortness of breath, you may be at risk for black lung or silicosis. Early treatment is important. It is also crucial to retain a defective mask/silicosis attorney in either Missouri or Illinois. An attorney who is well-versed in both product liability and defective respirator cases will know what is needed to prove your case. As always, visit your doctor and follow his/her orders.


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