Silica dust is a fine powder that can become airborne and endanger those who breathe it into their lungs. Demolition projects can produce silica dust, putting workers at risk.
Concrete, cement blocks, and bricks contain silica. When the demolition process crushes and grinds up those materials, it produces silica dust. The demolition process, utility vehicles, and heavy equipment can cause dust to spread into the air.
Spraying water and dust suppressants help prevent silica dust and other contaminants from becoming airborne. Wearing respirators can help prevent breathing in harmful silica dust. Using equipment that has air-conditioned and heated cabs with air filtration systems can protect operators as well.
Crystalline silica dust irritates the lungs and could lead to silicosis. The dust particles embed themselves in the lining of the lungs and cause irritation. Silicosis is similar to asbestosis because it causes inflammation and scarring of lung tissue. Eventually, silicosis makes it much harder for the lungs to breathe and process oxygen.
Repeated exposure to silica dust makes silicosis more likely to occur. The greater the exposure, the faster the onset of silicosis. Silicosis is a debilitating disease that makes it difficult to perform daily activities. It also can cause death in extreme cases.
If you have been diagnosed with silicosis, you could file for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits should pay for your medical treatments and other damages. Those damages could include loss of income if the condition makes it difficult for you to work or find employment.
Additionally, those who have silicosis may be eligible to file a toxic tort claim. An experienced attorney will determine your legal options.
A medical diagnosis of silicosis shows how your illness is related to exposure. A medical specialist could determine your condition and show how exposure to silica dust lead to your diagnosis.
Once you have established the cause of your condition, you (your lawyer) will need to show that you suffered harm. Your medical diagnosis, medical costs, and loss of income would support your claim. Documenting how it affects your daily life is also helpful.
If you have been diagnosed with silicosis or another related disease, you can get legal help from one of our experienced Wilmington environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we represent clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.