Study finds link between hazardous material exposure & sarcoidosis
It's common for those who work in construction and other industrial occupations to regularly be exposed to silica, beryllium and other materials that could be hazardous to health.
According to a recent study conducted by Dutch researchers and published in the journal Respiratory Research, occupational exposure to silica and beryllium can lead to an inflammatory disease called sarcoidosis.
What is sarcoidosis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, sarcoidosis is a condition that is defined by a small collection of inflammatory cells called granulomas. These cells can collect in any part of the body, but most often impact the lungs, lymph nodes, heart, eyes, skin and other organs. Damage to these organs can occur over time.
The warning signs of sarcoidosis often include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Joint swelling and inflammation
- Weight loss
- Dry cough
- Tight chest
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart beat
- Rashes on skin
- Eye irritation and blurred vision
Some experts believe that this disease is triggered by an immune system response to an unknown substance entering the body. While there is no known cure for sarcoidosis, treatments for it exist. In some cases, it can even clear up on its own.
What did the study find?
Researchers in the Dutch study examined 256 sarcoidosis patients for exposure to silica, beryllium, aluminum and zirconium. They also examined another 73 control patients who suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Both groups filled out a questionnaire on work history. Researchers chose the control group of sleep apnea patients because “there is no relationship between environmental triggers and development of OSA.”
Here's what the study found:
- 32.4% of sarcoidosis patients were found to be exposed to silica and other toxic metals on the job.
- 24.7% of patients in the control group were found to be exposed to the same substances at work.
Researchers also examined how the immune system reacts to silica and the other toxic metals found in 33 sarcoidosis patients and 19 control patients. After using a lymphocyte proliferation test, more than 21 percent of sarcoidosis patients showed reactions to the materials. None of the control patients had the same reaction.
Can I collect workers' compensation benefits if I developed an inflammatory disease on the job?
If you developed sarcoidosis or any other inflammatory disease due to the nature of your job, it's important that you speak to an experienced Mississippi workers' compensation attorney to learn about your legal rights.
Occupational diseases such as this need to be addressed promptly before they worsen. If you're concerned about the medical costs and the time you will need to take off from work, the attorneys at Tabor Law Firm, P.A. can help you file a claim and get the compensation you need.
We know how the workers' compensation system works and how to help you fill out the paperwork correctly, prepare your case for trial, and advocate for a fair financial settlement. Contact us online to schedule your free and confidential case consultation.