About the 3M Dust Mask Class Action Lawsuit
The following companies are just a few involved in the suit for allegedly selling defective respirators:
Black lung disease occurs when someone inhales coal dust, giving it the name “coal workers’ pneumoconiosis,” or CWP. Inhaling copious amounts of coal dust over a long time leads to scarring in a person’s lungs, making it increasingly harder to breathe. The term “black lung disease” describes the color of the lungs of an afflicted person.
Given its name, CWP is most common among coal workers. Studies find that about 16 percent of coal mine workers in the United States will contract CWP, and the number is increasing. Experts link the rise in CWP to new coal extraction methods that make the coal’s mineral content more hazardous. With the increase in CWP cases, proper protective masks and respirators are becoming increasingly important.
There are two types of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis: simple and complicated
Black lung disease is a slow-developing illness that often starts with no symptoms, so many coal miners don’t realize they have CWP until they’re well into retirement.
The early stages of black lung disease display the following symptoms:
- Cough, Sometimes with Black Mucus
- Shortness of Breath
- Tightness in Chest
In the earliest stages, the above symptoms may not be present except following strenuous activity. As CWP progresses in a person, the symptoms become more prominent, even occurring while resting.
In advanced stages of CWP, nodules prevent oxygen from reaching the blood. A lack of oxygen in the blood affects most other parts of the body, especially the heart and brain.
Complicated pneumoconiosis is the most severe form of CWP. It occurs after long-term exposure to the harmful elements in coal dust. Also dubbed progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), there is a lot of scarring on the lungs. The irreversible damage causes detrimental effects to lung function, making it difficult to breathe.
There currently is no specific test for black lung disease. However, a doctor will note symptoms and history, mainly if a person has worked or still works in a coal mine.
To help diagnose black lung disease, a doctor will ask about symptoms and any treatments that might’ve helped. They’ll note work history, any exposure to harmful products or chemicals, and whether the patient wore a mask or respirator. X-rays and CT scans will also help doctors find nodules and scarring on lung tissue.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for CWP, and there are no treatments that can reverse the damage. However, doctors prescribe specific remedies and recommend to slow progression and improve a person’s quality of life. Doctors will prescribe medications to help patients breathe better and encourage them to avoid smoking.
The most common treatment for black lung disease is pulmonary rehabilitation. The program helps patients with CWP and other lung conditions breathe better and stay active. As the disease progresses in a patient, doctors will prescribe extra oxygen. The most advanced cases require an individual to be on supplemental oxygen at all times.
Lastly, the rarest treatment is a lung transplant for the most severe cases of black lung disease.
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Am I Affected by the 3M Dust Mask Class Action Lawsuit?
If you or someone you know has had their life severely impacted by 3M’s negligence, call our law firm today. We may be able to get the compensation you deserve. However, don’t delay in contacting us. Litigation against 3M is ongoing and expected to culminate this year in a class action resolution. Please contact Taylor Bartlett at 205.549.4461 or 1.800.241.9779. We are now accepting cases on a contingency fee basis and look forward to helping those affected.