Welders face an increased risk of developing lung cancer

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | lung cancer

Welding is a noble profession that is necessary in the construction of much of our society’s infrastructure. Without welders, our nation wouldn’t be where it is today. And it’s a steady profession with a significant portion of the population in the Baton Rouge area working in the welding field and similar occupations, and more than 100 million people work in this occupation across the world.

Although many Louisianans found comfort in the pay afforded by this profession, they were duped into thinking that it was safe. The truth, though, is far different.  In fact, there have been multiple studies that have found that welders are exposed to a number of dangerous fumes that have been linked to lung cancer. Amongst them are asbestos, molybdenum trioxide, and chromium, but they are also exposed to radiation.

Welding also creates a significant amount of dust and vapor particles that are so small that they can enter the alveoli, the small sacks into which are flows in the lungs. Shockingly, as much as 98% of these particles are small enough to go so deeply into the lungs as to reach the alveoli air sacs. Once in the lungs, these materials, which can vary depending on the material being welded, can change the genetic material of the lung tissue, thereby causing cancer.

While the dangers of welding smoke are better understood today, they weren’t decades ago. This means that those who worked in the profession back then likely weren’t given the equipment and training needed to make them safe. As a result, many people are now suffering from lung cancer and other diseases directly related to their work as a welder. In fact, a study released last year found that welders are 43% more likely to develop lung cancer. There was a marked increase even when taking into account other factors contributing to lung cancer, such as exposure to asbestos and smoking.

If you’re loved one is living with lung cancer, then you know the brutal toll that can be taken on them. Even the most effective treatments can affect quality of life, and you might be watching a tragedy unfold as your loved one’s health continues to degrade due to no fault of their own.

As if dealing with a serious medical condition isn’t enough, many welders who have developed lung cancer have to worry about the financial ramifications of their illness. There are likely exorbitant medical expenses with which to contend, and they might be worried about what they are going to leave their loved ones when the time comes. These are legitimate concerns.

Fortunately, legal action may be justifiable. By pursuing a legal claim, your loved one may be able to recover compensation to help offset losses and provide his or her family with financial stability for years to come. Additionally, taking legal action can provide a certain sense of closure given that some form of accountability is obtained. The process isn’t always easy, though, and certain requirements have to be met with competent evidence. So, if you think your loved one may qualify for compensation for their lung cancer-related damages, then it might be time to reach out to an attorney to discuss the matter further.