Each day, millions of American workers appear for work at factories and coal mines where they are exposed to some form of dust all day. These workers are in severe danger because the dust that they are exposed to can be very hazardous to their lungs. If you are one of these people, you probably are/were provided with dust masks for your protection. Decades ago, your employer was told by these mask manufacturers that the masks would protect employees from hazardous dust. These manufacturers include 3M, Mine Safety Appliances (MSA), American Optical (AH), Moldex, and Flexo. The employers relied on the statements of these manufacturers and purchased the dust masks for your protection. Some of the masks you may have used include paper masks such as the 8710, 8500 or rubber masks such as the Dustfoe 66, 77 or 88. Unfortunately, these masks did not meet certain NIOSH requirements for coal dust and silica exposure. It has been discovered that while the masks trap the large dust particles, the smaller and more dangerous particles travel right through the mask and deep into the user’s lungs.
As a result, many coal miners and silica factory workers have been exposed to dangerous dust for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for decades. The impact of this dust exposure can be life threatening if the person develops silicosis or black lung. The lung disease can result it complete disability and a significantly impacted day-to-day life. Symptoms of such conditions include shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, and black sputum. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have been working around coal dust or silica dust, you need to seek medical treatment right away.
As St. Louis injury attorneys, we handle Illinois and Missouri defective mask and respirator cases. If you would like a free consultation, please contact Lindsay Rakers or call 800-517-0602.