Lung disease can develop from your work environment. You may be exposed to substances that cause medical issues to form in your lungs. The primary cause of work-related lung disease is the inhalation of toxic materials and chemicals on the job site.
Construction workers are one group that is often exposed to serious hazards on the job that can affect the lungs. Asbestos is one of the more well-known contaminants to cause health issue with the lungs. The fibers are found in many homes and buildings built prior to 1978. It was used in insulation because it is a fire retardant building material but was later discovered to cause asbestosis, a condition affecting the lungs. When building are torn down or remodeled, the asbestos becomes airborne and workers not properly protected will inhale the particles which settle into the lungs and cause tissue damage and scarring in the lungs.
There are many other occupations that can incur work related lung conditions depending on the materials frequently used in the work environment. Dusts, pesticides, silica, and other materials are present in many trades including farming, mining, manufacturing, and refining. Workers should always be properly trained to avoid the excessive exposure to harmful materials that are in the air and can negatively affect the lungs. Face masks and breathing apparatus gear should also be made available to workers when hazardous materials are present on the job.
Smoking may also be a factor in the development of lung-related work conditions on the job. Smoking can actually increase a worker’s chances of developing occupational lung disease. Many workplaces have banned smoking by employees anywhere on the business grounds, at work-sites, and anywhere indoors to prevent the damaging effects of second-hand smoke to fellow employees that do not smoke.
Have a Preventive Work Related Lung Disease Injury?
If you have been exposed to materials on the job that have caused shortness of breath, chronic coughing, production of mucus or blood during coughing, asthma, or other lung diseases or conditions, know what your rights are as an injured worker.