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What is black lung disease?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2018 | Workplace Illness |

As a previous post discussed, some employees in Ohio and elsewhere are faced with serious dangers in the workplace. One of these is an occupational illness. For coal miners, this means working in an environment that could be detrimental to one’s health. Over time, a miner could develop an illness known as black lung disease. If such a diagnosis occurs, a worker could need a lot of medical attention, even missing work for an extended period of time.

What is black lung disease? This is an occupational disease that impacts coal miners. When coal mine dust is repeatedly breathed in over time, this can cause fibrosis of the lungs. In other words, scar tissue occurs throughout the lungs, which ultimately leads to the development of black lung disease.

Based on current data and statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there is a growing rate of black lung disease since the early 2000’s in certain states. This is especially true for the more severe cases.

Black lung disease does not develop the same in each worker. It can impact each person differently. However, the longer a worker is exposed to the dust, the higher the risk of developing black lung disease. Unfortunately, when a miner is diagnosed with black lung disease, this illness can only be controlled through treatment. Currently, there is no way to cure this disease. Additionally, if it is very advanced, a lung transplant may be necessary.

Being diagnosed with a severe occupational disease is a serious matter. Not only is it shocking to be diagnosed with a disease that stemmed from your exposure to the work environment, but it can be even more devastating if you are no longer able to work because of that illness. Thus, it is important to consider options when it comes to filing for workers’ compensation benefits in order to offset the financial hardships caused by the matter. These funds could help address medical bills and lost wages, which could go a long way to helping individuals cope with a serious illness.