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Silica (Silicosis)
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Toxic Substances :: Silica (Silicosis)

SILICOSIS - Crystalline silica is found in slate, flint, sandstone, coal, other metallic rocks, and even sand. It is one of the most common minerals known to man, second only to quartz. It is also a very deadly mineral that causes silicosis (known also as Potter's rot, or Grinder's disease). Silicosis is a lung disease caused by the dust of grinding, milling, mining, or quarry work involving rocks containing silica. Silica dust is the most common cause of occupational lung damage.

While deaths related to silica have declined greatly due to better technology in developed countries, it is still a great risk in countries that lack high tech methods for creating and discovering the products made from rocks and minerals.

There are several U.S. states that still have a high incidence of silicosis due to a large number of industries involving mining and other work. While the use of respirators, mists, and other dust alleviating methods are now commonly used, it is still impossible to completely eradicate the dangers of silica. Additionally symptoms related to silicosis may not appear for years following extended exposure. In most cases the symptoms will appear over a long period of time and may even seem unrelated to each other at first.

There are three types of silicosis: asymptomatic silicosis, accelerated silicosis, and acute silicosis.

Asymptomatic silicosis typically shows no symptoms and often goes undiagnosed for years. It may remain untreated or develop into the next level of silicosis.

Accelerated silicosis usually begins to show symptoms 5 to 10 years after heavy exposure. The symptoms of accelerated silicosis are difficulty breathing, weight loss, and fatigue or weakness.

Acute silicosis occurs quickly in relation to the other types of the disease. It usually strikes as soon as a few months to 2 years after high exposure to silica. While the symptoms of this form of silicosis mirror that of accelerated silicosis, it is more severe and faster to disable its victims and often leads to death.

If you have a past history working in any industry involving rocks, dust, or mining endeavors and have the symptoms of lung damage, it is very important to consult your physician. You should also seek legal advice to see if your illness has recourses. Because most instances of silicosis are work-related, your employer or former employer may be responsible for your medical and financial difficulties. Your attorney can review your work and medical history to see if your situation warrants legal action. Getting the help of a well-qualified lawyer can help you and your family through the financial hardships caused by a devastating illness.

Fill out the form on this page to get a free evaluation by a law firm that has the expertise and resources to handle these complex and costly to litigate cases. 

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