Silica dust exposure is a serious threat to almost two million workers in the United States, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety experts have identified more than 100,000 workers in high-risk jobs, primarily in construction, fracking, mining and basic materials industries that may develop silicosis.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), up to two million American workers are exposed to breathable silica toxins in a variety of industries and occupations. Silica dust, when inhaled by employees at the workplace, can cause very serious health disorders and diseases, including silicosis, lung cancer, silicosis, pulmonary fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, and other adverse health outcomes.
Workers may develop silicosis by breathing very small silica particles into the lungs. Silicosis, an irreversible lung disease, is most closely associated with occupational exposure to silica dust.
Construction workers and those working in fracking operations have developed silicosis and other respiratory diseases from inhaling silica dust and exposure to other toxins at the workplace.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated workplace injury lawyer and toxic tort attorney investigating silica injury lawsuits and representing injured plaintiffs nationwide.
The Lyon Firm works with OSHA experts, construction site engineers, and vocational experts to investigate and determine whether poor management, safety violations, worker negligence or defective equipment caused an injury.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published studies that show fracking workers are likely exposed to high levels of silica in the dust surrounding work sites, which may lead to permanent lung damage, silicosis and lung cancer.
The fracking process endangers workers when sand is delivered and loaded into sand movers, transferred by conveyor belts and blended with other fracking fluids prior to injection. Transporting and moving silica sand by movers and transfer belts can release dusts containing silica into the air and exposing workers if they breathe the dust into their lungs.
When oil and gas companies operate in America and the nearby environment ends up contaminated and damaged, surrounding land and home owners can expect to see their property values drop significantly.
Large energy corporations, with hundreds of hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) sites, are responsible for thousands of environmental infractions each year, causing millions of dollars in damages to properties nationwide.
According to a study by the Wall Street Journal, there are over one million active oil and gas wells in the United States, and more than 15 million Americans now live within a mile of many of them.
Toxic chemical leaks, oil spills, groundwater contamination, soil contamination, unsightly drilling equipment and noise pollution due to fracking activity account for the majority of property value loss claims.
Realtors around the country note that buyers are very hesitant to purchase homes near fracking sites. However, oil and gas companies are not taking responsibility for damages to property unless lawsuits are filed against them.
It is unfortunate that legal action is necessary, but not surprising given that the large energy corporations responsible are placing profit before environmental concerns. Any property owner with real estate negatively affected by fracking activities may have a claim against regional businesses.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated fracking contamination lawyer, representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation claims against large corporations.
NIOSH has identified the primary sources of silica dust exposure during fracking operations:
ABOUT THE LYON FIRM
Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
NO COST UNLESS WE WIN
The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.
Crystalline silica is a mineral common in sand, and rocks like sandstone and granite. When rocks, clay bricks, concrete, and tiles are cut and dust fills the air, and workers are not equipped with proper safety equipment, illness is likely to develop.
Silica is produced when these materials are broken or drilled. As early as 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified Crystalline Silica as a human carcinogen.
Silica is classified as a human carcinogen and is the cause of silicosis, a fatal lung disease. Silica dust gets trapped in the lungs and leads to scarring. Severe scarring and the stiffening of the lung makes it difficult to breathe. Over time, lung capacity will decrease. Exposure to silica dust has been associated with the following:
Silicosis symptoms may appear a few weeks or years after initial silica dust exposure. The scarring of lungs is like to produce a persistent cough a well as other respiratory symptoms. The three types of silicosis include:
Crystalline silica is a natural component of soil, sand, granite, and other common minerals. Forms of crystalline silica include quartz, cristobalite and tridymite. Almost all forms of silica can be broken into particle dust, and are likely to become respirable-sized particles during workplace activities such as chipping, cutting, drilling, or grinding objects that contain crystalline silica.
There are up to 100,000 American workers in silica-related high risk jobs such as abrasive blasting, foundry work, automotive work, construction, stonecutting, rock drilling, quarry work, tunneling, glass manufacturing and fracking.
The most common sign of heavy silica dust exposure is problems associated with breathing. Inhaling silica dust damages the lungs, increases the risk of lung infections, and may lead to heart failure. Silica may also cause lung disease and cancer with chronic occupational exposure.
Chronic silicosis, the most common type of silicosis, occurs after 15 or more years of exposure to respirable silica. Symptoms associated with chronic silicosis may include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, or respiratory failure.
Acute silicosis occurs after a few months or a couple years following exposure to high concentrations of silica dust. Symptoms of acute silicosis include disabling shortness of breath, weakness, and weight loss, and may quickly lead to death.
Silicosis cannot be treated, so it is essential that employers and workers at occupational risk work to prevent any possible silica dust exposure. Employers can take the following measures to ensure the safety of employees at the workplace:
It only takes a small amount of silica dust to create a health hazard. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, inhaling silica dust can lead to a debilitating and fatal respiratory disease and numerous other health conditions and cancers. OSHA strictly enforces regulations that aim to protect workers from silica dust exposure.
Yet, more than 250 workers die from silicosis every year. Negligent employers may be held liable for injuries that are considered preventable.
The Lyon Firm works to protect workers in every industrial capacity and represents injured plaintiffs nationwide when negligent employers fail to protect employees, and fail to adhere to basic OSHA safety regulations.
Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.