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Common lung illnesses caused by occupational exposure

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

When you go to work, you are likely not considering the many ways that your job could cause you harm, especially if you do not work in a high-risk occupation. However, there are different risks you could face in the workplace, and there are certain factors that could cause you pain, including causing you to become sick. Occupational exposure to certain chemicals, toxins and dangerous substances could result in a debilitating sickness that could affect your ability to work and enjoy your life as normal.

One of the most common types of occupational illnesses are lung diseases. These often occur because of exposure to certain toxins and hazardous materials that an employee breathes in, leading to the development of an illness. This can cause immediate sickness, or it can lead to an illness that develops slowly over a period of time. If you became sick as a result of your job, you have options available to you.

Lung diseases and their impact

Lung diseases can impact victims in different ways. There are a range of occupational lung diseases that are related to the specific type of toxin to which a North Carolina worker is exposed. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are examples of serious work-related lung diseases that can be fatal. Other types of lung diseases related to occupational exposure include:

  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis — This is a lung disease caused by mold spores, typically breathed in while working around moldy hay, organic dusts and even bird droppings. It can cause fibrous scar tissues in the lungs.
  • Occupational asthma — This is an illness that can cause shortness of breath, chronic coughing and wheezing. It is treatable, and medications help control the symptoms. It can be the result of inhaling certain irritants.
  • Byssinosis — This is the effect of dust produced from hemp, flax and cotton processing. It causes tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. It most commonly affects textile processors.

If you become ill as a result of your job, there are options available to you. You could have grounds to pursue a workers’ compensation claim — an option that will allow you to seek financial support, coverage of your medical bills and more while you seek treatment and eventually return to work. It is not always easy to successfully secure this type of support, and you may find it helpful to first seek an understanding of your legal options before you move forward.