Workers who are exposed to airborne contaminants at the workplace are at risk of developing occupational lung diseases.
Depending on the type and severity of the disease, occupational lung diseases can have effects ranging from discomfort to premature death. In this post, our Kansas City compensation lawyer will discuss which types of workers are at high risk of developing occupational lung diseases.
Occupational lung disease is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions, with each one having a different effect on the lungs. While some diseases may affect the airways that carry oxygen to and from the lungs, others may affect the air sacs through which oxygen is transferred to the blood from the air that we breathe. There are some lung diseases that affect the lining between ribcage and lungs. These diseases are caused by a number of factors in the workplace.
According to the American Lung Association, in the United States, occupational lung diseases are the top cause of work-related illness in terms of severity, frequency, and preventability. These illnesses are caused by long term, repeated exposure. However, a single, severe exposure to a harmful agent can cause damage to the lungs.
10 Jobs with the Highest Risk of Occupational Lung Illnesses
According to articles published in the health magazine, the jobs with the highest risk of occupational lung disease are:
- Construction workers: Inhalation of dust in renovations and demolitions can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer
- Health care workers: Around 8-12 percent of health-care workers are sensitive to the powder residue present in latex gloves.
- Factory workers: Inhalation of dust, gases, and chemicals can cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In some cases, it can cause bronchiolitis obliterans, which is a close relative of COPD, but more serious.
- Textile workers: Inhalation of particles from cotton and other fiber can cause Byssinosis, better known as brown lung disease.
- Bakers: Surprisingly, baking is among the top asthma-provoking jobs. Enzymes used to change the consistency of the dough and allergens released by bugs found in flour can cause an asthmatic reaction.
- Bartenders: Bartenders have to spend hours in smoke-filled environments, which puts them at high risk for occupational lung disease.
- Auto workers: Those working in the automobile industry are at risk of developing asthma. Some types of spray on paints can cause allergies, chest tightness, and breathing problems.
- Mining: These workers are at high risk of several lung diseases such as COPD, silicosis, pneumoconiosis-better known as black lung.
- Transportation workers: Workers who unload materials on the loading docks, delivery trucks drivers, and railroad workers can be at high risk for COPD, because of diesel exhaust exposure.
- Firefighting: These workers inhale smoke and various other types of chemicals. These workers are at a high risk of developing lung diseases if they do not wear protective masks.
Kansas City MO Workers Compensation Attorney
If you work in these industries and have developed occupational lung disease, you may be entitled to Missouri workers compensation benefits. If you need any legal advice or help, you should consult a qualified Kansas City Workers Comp Attorney at our law office. Call us today at (816) 399-3706 to schedule a free and private case evaluation.