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Silicosis is a disease of the lungs caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica. The damage is irreversible and can lead to early death. Those who develop silicosis may also be at an increased risk of developing lunch cancer and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The scarring of the lungs causes shortness of breath, coughing and loss of energy. It can develop within 5 years of exposure to the silica dust.
Where is silica found?
Silica is a mineral which can be found in different types of rock. The higher concentrations are found in sandstone, gritstone, quartzite, granite, shale, slate and china stone.
Basalt, dolerite, ironstone, limestone and marble usually contain lower amounts of silica but are still likely to have silica content.
Artificial stone, depending upon the types of rock used in making it, can have a very high content of silica.
Activities which can result in exposure to silica dust
Cuttingham, chiselling, dressing, polishing, splitting or otherwise working the stone can result in high levels of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) being produced. The fine dust is more dangerous as it is able to penetrate deep into the lungs.
Main industries/occupations affected
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits such as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit may be payable. Contact our experienced solicitors to find out more.
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