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Your job may be putting you at risk for lung disease

Lung disease affects many workers in Illinois and the rest of the nation. Unfortunately, it has been difficult in the past to spot the earliest signs of this sometimes life-threatening disease. Unless you schedule a CT (computerized axial tomography) scan at the earliest opportunity, the disease might be overlooked until it has advanced to a dangerous degree.

In our Illinois legal practice, we have seen many cases of lung disease. While workers' compensation can and does help those who have contracted work-related lung disease, there are sometimes complications you should know about. Over 100 illnesses fall in the interstitial lung disease family. One thing that can complicate workers' compensation claims is that it may be difficult to determine if the illness arose due to work or from a nonworking environment.

Many people believe that workplace illnesses like black lung disease, cancers and mesothelioma only occur in mining or in jobs with exposure to asbestos. However, it is important to understand that exposure to a wide variety of fumes, gases, fibers, vapors and dust could cause lung disease.

A good approach to determining if you are at risk in your job is to talk with your doctor about any of the substances to which you are exposed at work. This could identify your risk level and help you decide if you should schedule a CT scan to see if you have any of the earliest signs of lung disease. Researchers say that a CT scan can show signs of these diseases before any symptoms begin to occur.

If you already have a lung disease and are having difficulty with your workers' compensation claim, we invite you to look over the information on our website. Early diagnosis and early treatment are critical to surviving with a lung disease.

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