Occupational lung diseases have become a widespread epidemic in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from acute health problems after repeated and long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals, dust, and other irritants.
The severity of lung diseases in the workplace may vary from one location, job, and environment to another, but there is a generally accepted list of occupations that pose the biggest risk for workers.
And contrary to the popular belief, coal miners are not the only workers who are exposed to and inhale hazardous agents that can damage the lungs (even bartenders, waitresses, and housekeepers are at risk).
Fact: Statistics show that lung diseases account for most occupational diseases in the workplace in the U.S. based on frequency and severity.
Our Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys advise all those whose occupation is on the list to go through regular medical checkups to prevent lung disease caused in the workplace.
Although the American Lung Association calls occupational lung diseases preventable, even single exposure to hazardous chemicals can damage the lungs.
In fact, while repeated and long-term exposure to irritants and hazardous agents causes lung damage, our attorneys warn that occupational lung diseases may have lasting effects even after a worker is no longer exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Fact: Symptoms of occupational lung diseases that must set off alarm bells are coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, and abnormal breathing pattern.
Depending on the nature of your job, exposure to certain chemicals may cause severe damage to the respiratory tract. For example, the inhalation of metal fumes may lead to metal fume fever, while exposure to organic dusts contaminated with microorganisms and endotoxins may result in organic dust toxic syndrome.
Explosions, fires, leaks, and spills can also become the catalysts for occupational lung diseases. Smoking at work, meanwhile, can either cause or aggravate lung damage due to firsthand and secondhand smoke.
Since exposure to hazardous chemicals, dust, toxic gases, vapors, and fibers may cause both short- and long-term consequences and health problems, it’s imperative to have lung problems diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
Under federal and state laws in Los Angeles, employees who have suffered occupational lung diseases in the workplace may be entitled to workers compensation, including lost wages, lost capacity, and medical care.
In order to obtain compensation, employees have to prove that the lung damage is the result of their work duties, our workers compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach explain.
Since the doctor’s opinion in determining liability for your workplace injury is crucial, our attorneys provide you with access to unbiased healthcare professionals who would investigate your workers compensation claim in your best interests.
Consult our experienced attorneys today by calling at 818-600-4714 for a free case evaluation.