Judge rule in favor of Silicosis class action lawsuit.
As of the 13th of May 2016, the silicosis lawsuit is underway, seeking damages for thousands of gold miners who contracted silicosis.
Some background on silicosis will be explained.
Silicosis is an illness caused by the inhalation of silica crystalline dust. This mineral forms part of sand and rock and is found in mineral ore processes such as gold, silver and copper. Silica can also be present in occupations in mining, construction work, tunnel work, sand blasting, glass manufacturing and stone cutting. When inhalation takes place these crystalline particles move deeply into the alveolar spaces and ducts of the lungs. These are the places where the carbon monoxide gas coming from the peripheral veins are exchanged with the oxygen that was inhaled.
Due to the crystal-like shape of these particles, this phagocytosis process cannot take place and causes cell death. Collagen is formed around this silica particle, continues accumulation of the crystal results in fibrosis of lung tissue and formation of nodular lesions. Fibrosis is the thickening end scarring of connective tissue in the alveolar spaces.
• Shortness of breath (exacerbated by exertion)
• Dry, hacking cough, often persistent and sometimes severe
• Tachypnea (fast, shallow breathing)
• Aching of joints and muscles
• Chest pain
Silicosis consist of three groups: Acute silicosis, which causes a cough, weight loss, and fatigue within a few weeks or years of exposure to inhaled silica. Chronic silicosis, which appears 10 to 30 years after exposure and can affect upper lungs and sometimes cause extensive scarring. Accelerated silicosis, which occurs within 10 years of high-level exposure. Silicosis can develop in a few weeks to even decades which means it has a long latent period. A person can be exposed to silica crystalline with these symptoms appearing 13-30 years after exposure.
Patient with silicosis are more susceptible to tuberculosis, (TB) the reason for this is due to the damage of the macrophage inhibiting its function to kill off foreign mycobacteria and Chronic Bronchitis due to limitations in airflow. Crystalline silica has been classified as a “carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer meaning that it is one of the 111 agents which can cause cancer to humans. Smokers should consider quitting as smoking damages the lung