Those who are exposed to significant amounts of coal on a regular basis may develop a serious condition known as coalworker’s pneumoconiosis, or CWP for short. More commonly known as black lung, CWP develops when a worker inhales coal dust, which lodges itself in the lungs. Over time, this exposure and persistent build-up can create major health concerns. A sufferer might suffer from severe respiratory complications that grow worse with increased exposure.
Contact the Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, at 910-488-1600 for more information regarding your options if you have developed CWP as a result of your regular occupational duties.
The Effects of CWP
When coal dust enters into the pulmonary system, coal begins to collect along the interior of the lungs. These masses of coal eventually become severe enough to damage the tissue and decrease lung function for the sufferer. If the masses of coal dust buildup become great enough, the worker may develop progressive massive fibrosis. The results of this long-term exposure can produce the following effects:
- Shortness of breath
- Severe coughing
- If severe enough, lung failure
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Rheumatoid arthritis
One of the additional concerns for coal workers in terms of exposure is whether or not they have also inhaled a significant amount of silica dust. If these workers are exposed to significant amounts of silica dust as well as coal dust, their CWP may be further complicated by additional health concerns. In particular, long-term exposure to silica dust has been linked to an increased chance of developing tuberculosis.
CWP is a common concern for coal miners and those who process coal products on a regular basis. If you have developed this health condition due to the conditions of your employment, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to you. Contact the Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, by calling 910-488-1600.