Which Cancers are Caused by Exposure to Welding Fumes?
Exposure to welding fumes is known to cause lung cancer and is strongly associated with other cancers such as kidney cancer. Welding fumes exposure can also lead to the development of neurological disorders and life-threatening pulmonary conditions. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with one of the following conditions, you may be eligible for compensation under the FELA.
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How Do Dangerous Exposures to Welding Fumes Occur?
Inhalation is the primary route for dangerous exposures to welding fumes. Anyone nearby to where welding occurs risks inhaling air that is contaminated with welding fumes. The worst exposures tend to occur in unventilated environments; however, a significant exposure to welding fumes can occur even in well ventilated areas. Welding fumes can hang in the air for hours. Consequently, adequate ventilation systems and respiratory protection are necessary to protect workers from persistent exposure to airborne welding fumes. Working outdoors or in wide open spaces does not guarantee adequate ventilation.
How can I Tell if I Suffered a Dangerous Exposure to Welding Fumes?
Common symptoms of an acute exposure to welding fumes include eye, nose, and throat irritation; dizziness; and nausea. If you suffer any of these symptoms after being exposed to welding fumes you should immediately leave the area, seek fresh air, and obtain medical attention.2 Intense exposures to welding fumes can also result in metal fume fever which is characterized by flu-like symptoms such as chills, low-level fever, fatigue, nausea, sore throat, and body aches.
Unfortunately, significant welding fume exposures often occur without the afflicted individual developing any symptoms. As a result, it can be difficult to know when you are being exposed and even low-level exposures can result in long-term illness over time. If you have worked in an unventilated environment without respiratory protection near welding operations, you were likely exposed to potentially dangerous levels of welding fumes.
How Often Were Railroad Workers Exposed to Welding Fumes?
Many railroad workers are exposed to welding fumes on a daily basis. Those working in locomotive and railcar maintenance facilities are particularly at risk for dangerous exposures. Our mechanical department clients typically start with welding fumes when describing their most consistent, everyday exposure. At any given time, someone was welding in the shop. Ventilation systems were either non-existent or poorly maintained, allowing the welding fumes to linger in the air. Respirators were sparsely available. Sadly, these conditions inevitably resulted in dangerous exposures to welding fumes.
What can I do if I was Exposed to Welding Fumes?
If you or a loved one was exposed to welding fumes while working for a railroad and have been diagnosed with a related disease, the attorneys at Hughes Law Offices may be able to help. These are complicated cases that require experienced attorneys. While you and your loved ones focus on recovery, let us do the work needed to prove your case. Contact Hughes Law Offices today at 312-877-5588 for a free attorney consultation.