Silica is a mineral which can be found in rocks such as sandstone, granite, flint and slate as well as in sand, metallic ores and some coal. When materials containing silica are broken, cut, crushed or drilled, they produce a fine dust known as silica which can be hazardous to the health of humans.
People who work with or around these materials are at a great risk of developing silicosis which is a disease which can be caused due to exposure to silica.
Silicosis is a preventable disease but once a person contracts it, it can be incurable. It is a respiratory disease which affects the lungs. When silica dust is inhaled, small particles of the dust become embedded into the lungs and these cannot be cleared by coughing or mucous. Silica dust is toxic and it can cause inflammatory reaction which can lead to the lung tissues becoming scarred and thickened. This condition is known as fibrosis and when this happens, it becomes extremely difficult for the lungs to take in oxygen properly.
High levels of exposure can cause the disease in a year. But, it normally takes between 10-15 years before the symptoms occur. If you have been diagnosed with silicosis and if you believe it was caused due to your working conditions, you may be able to make a silicosis claim.
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