Dental workers are getting sick, is their work environment to cause? According to the CDC, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) may be linked to the dentistry field.   So if you are a dentist, dental hygenist or other dental worker in Illinois and you have pulmonary fibrosis, you may have a workers’ compensation case.

IPF is a pulmonary disease that causes scarring in the lungs, which over time makes it nearly impossible for a person to breathe. Typically, this disease starts with shortness of breath, a dry cough and possibly fatigue. The disease progresses quickly and aggressively with an average 2.5 years survival after diagnosis. There are many professions that can contribute or even fully be the cause of IPF. Many of these professions involve breathing toxicity on a daily basis. In the dental field, that can mean powder forms of acrylics, silica and other compounds. It is clear that more studies need to be done to determine what other job related exposures could be causing dental workers harm.

All of these breathable toxins a person could be exposed to at work, make this a workers compensation case. In this specific case, all medical bills would be covered by workers comp, as well as a percentage of loss wages due to the illness.

Since this is such a serious illness, it’s not uncommon for people to stop working after they are diagnosed.  To have a claim you likely have to file it with the State within three years of your last exposure which presumably is your last day worked.  In other words, if you think you may have been injured due to conditions at work, call us today to review your specific details.  It’s a free consultation and we will help you figure out if there is a case or not.

A couple things to know:

1. If you are going through this you are not alone. This CDC report was issued after it became clear that a lot of dentists were being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, especially compared to other professions.

2. These aren’t slam dunk cases by any means. You have to establish the toxins you’ve been exposed to as well as the frequency and need a doctor to state that your job contributed to your problems.

3. If you do have a case, all of your medical bills will be paid for, all of your time off work will be compensated and you will receive a payment for the permanent nature of your condition.

4. There is no cost to start a case and no fee unless you are successful.

Not every attorney can handle a case like this.  If you want to speak with an experienced lawyer call us any time at 312-346-5578 for a confidential, free consultation.