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New York Silicosis Lawyers Who Fight for Workers Exposed to Silica Rock Dust

If you've been diagnosed with silicosis, you may assume you'll get workers compensation benefits to help you with medical bills and lost wages. But workers compensation insurance companies often discount tunnel digger dust exposure illnesses, saying they're nothing more than pre-existing conditions due to smoking or other environmental causes. Once they know you have an experienced New York silicosis lawyer on your side, though, they'll listen. With our 90-year reputation for high success rates due to diligent case preparation, workman's comp adjusters don't mess with us. They typically will settle out of court because they know full well cancer due to job duties is serious, and that we mean business.

What is Silicosis?

Silicosis is an incurable, debilitating and often fatal lung disease caused by breathing in rock dust—or crystalline silica exposure. It is most often found in the lungs of tunnel workers, also known as sandhogs, who dig, blast and grind through underground rock, often working in a cloud of silica dust.

Materials that can cause silicosis include:

  • Concrete
  • Gemstones
  • Granite
  • Sandstone
  • Ceramics
  • Silica dust from soil

Tunnel Digger Silicosis Demands Aggressive NY Workers Compensation Attorney at Your Side

Dust-inhalation silicosis causes a variety of health problems and deadly conditions. Common symptoms of silicosis include:

  • Lung nodules or fibrosis causing chronic lung scarring and inflammation
  • Silica dust in the lungs and chest lymph nodes
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Breathlessness resembling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cough with sputum similar to chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Possible progression into tuberculosis (TB)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

How Much Silica Dust Causes Silicosis?

Silicosis is related to the concentration of respirable crystalline silica dust in the air and the duration of exposure. The risk increases with higher exposure levels over a long period of time. Currently, the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8-hour day.

Can You Get Silicosis From One Exposure?

Short-term, high-level exposures to concentrations above 500-1,000 micrograms per cubic meter can cause acute silicosis within a few weeks up to five years. For chronic silicosis to develop, exposure typically needs to be above 50-100 micrograms per cubic meter over 10-20 years or more.

Is There a Cure for Silicosis?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for silicosis once it has developed. However, there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms and potentially slow the progression of the disease. Treatment typically includes:

  • Medications such as bronchodilators and antibiotics.
  • Oxygen therapy.
  • Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding respiratory irritants.

If You've Been Breathing Rock Dust at Work and Now Have Lung Problems, Call a Silicosis Attorney in NY!

Sandhog silicosis affects anyone involved in tunneling, rock quarrying, rock drilling, crushing stone, chipping, grinding, sandblasting, mining or polishing in foundry work, pottery factories, shaking out molds, cutting or manufacturing heat-resistant fire bricks. Dust masks do little to prevent silicosis. As any work injury lawyer will attest, this is the most common form of so-called safety gear that people in these professions wear. From Long Island to Westchester to Staten Island, we help silicosis victims get the justice they deserve. Call Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP toll-free at (800) 692-3717 or contact us online for a free evaluation.