Individuals who have been exposed to crystalline silica dust are at risk for serious health issues. This toxic dust is used extensively in many industries and consumer products, despite its dangerous consequences. A victim who becomes sick after inhaling silica dust can sue for damages suffered as a result of their exposure.
Crystalline silica is a naturally occurring mineral found in the ground. Used in common stone and building materials in many construction applications, crystalline silica is present in stone, rock, concrete, mortar, and sand. It is found in natural stone, and it is used in the production of artificial stone and bricks, as well as ceramics, pottery, and glass.
Crystalline silica dust is produced when these products are broken down by grinding, drilling, cutting, or crushing. This includes the pulverization of natural sources, like stone, rocks, and sand, as well as man-made materials, such as concrete, brick, and mortar. When these materials are disturbed, they release toxic microscopic particles that float through the air.
The vast majority of harmful exposures occur in work settings. Employees that work for construction firms or in factories that manufacture products that contain crystalline silica are at the highest risk. However, people living in the vicinity of these worksites or industrial plants can also become exposed and develop health conditions. Likewise, consumers who use silica-containing products are also at risk.
Among the most serious health issues caused by exposure to crystalline silica dust are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. Exposure can also cause silicosis, which is inflammation and scarring in the lungs that can cause permanent disability and death.
A person who has gotten sick as a result of a toxic exposure to silica dust has the right to file an environmental toxic tort, which is a legal claim to damages. In silica dust exposure cases, negligence can exist on the part of a careless employer or in a products liability claim. The claimant has a right to sue the negligent party for monetary damages. In some states, however, the person suffering from exposure-related health complications may not be able to take legal action unless their health is affected to a significant degree. To determine if one is able to pursue a lawsuit, it is essential to contact a lawyer right away.
If you developed an illness as a result of crystalline silica dust, you may have a case against those responsible for your exposure. You should discuss your case with one of our Delaware environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Our legal team helps clients recover compensation after being exposed to dangerous levels of silica dust. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.