Coal miners' pneumoconiosis is caused by the inhalation of coal dust. The particles are approximately 2-5 micrometres in diameter and are retained in the small airways and alveoli of the lung. Normal lung tissue is replaced by fibrous scar tissue.
The highest incidence of this disease is in miners who work at the coal face, especially those who work in poorly ventilated conditions. This condition has enormous social, economic and medical significance in every nation in which coal mining is an important industry. This condition can devastate a miner's quality of life and take its toll on a miner's family.
There is no cure for this condition. Treatment is supportive and involves removal from exposure to the coal dust. The main therapy for this disease is continuous oxygen therapy. Because of the debilitating nature of this condition awards of compensation obtained by a pneumoconiosis solicitor can be very substantial and cover not only pain and suffering and lost income but also the cost of ongoing care for the victim.
Your employer has a duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment. Industrial dust levels must be controlled by your employer to reduce risk. If your employer has failed to comply with safety regulations you may be able to instruct a pneumoconiosis solicitor to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
This condition results from exposure to dust containing crystalline silica in mines, foundries, blasting operations, stone, clay and glass manufacturing. Inhalation of the tiny particles of silica results in the formation of multiple small hard round nodules in the lungs. Damage to the lung tissue means that the lungs cannot perform their function of supplying oxygen to the blood as well as they should.
There is no cure for this condition. Treatment to reduce inflammation and improve lung function may help and home oxygen therapy can be provided when needed to help with breathing difficulties. Experimental approaches to treatment include whole-lung lavage, aluminium inhalation, and corticosteroids.
If your employer has failed in their duty of care to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe to your health, then you may be entitled to make a silicosis claim for compensation.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here