Coke oven workers have a higher risk of bronchial cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Present mainly in the iron and steel industries, coke oven emissions are a toxic concoction of dust, vapors, and gases, which also include heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium. Even workers who wear protective equipment are inevitably exposed to coke oven emissions, which increases their risk of bronchial cancer.
While exposure to coke oven emissions is mostly associated with lung cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency clearly states that it also has a strong causal relation with cancer of the bronchus. The following are the eligibility criteria for workers exposed to coke oven emissions who came to struggle with bronchial cancer:
- you must have worked in the iron, steel, aluminum, graphite, electrical, or construction industry, where coke oven emissions were released on a regular basis
- you must have a correct, accurate diagnosis of bronchial cancer that is related to occupational toxic exposure
If you are uncertain about whether you qualify for compensation, we advise you to get in touch with our legal team, as we can quickly check your eligibility. You will only have to provide our law firm with your employment records and your medical records.
Up to 29% of bronchial cancer cases in the U.S. stem from occupational asbestos exposure
The cause of bronchial cancer is not completely known to medical specialists. It is believed that genetic factors are at play, as people with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 are at higher risk for bronchial cancer. Smoking may also contribute to the development of this disease. Still, exposure to toxic agents on the job, such as asbestos, was found to be a significant contributing factor.
People with a history of asbestos exposure may come to struggle with bronchial cancer within 20 to 50 years from their first contact with the mineral fibers, as, in this case, the disease has a long latency period.
These are the most common symptoms of bronchial cancer:
- a persistent cough
- shortness of breath
- coughing up blood
- chest pain
- flushing of the face
- recurrent infections like pneumonia
- trouble swallowing
- numbness of the jaw or face
- a lump on the roof of the mouth
- pain in the face
There are multiple types of bronchial cancer tumors, the main ones being carcinoid tumors, adenoid cystic carcinoma, and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. When it comes to the malignant cells involved in bronchial cancer, there are non-small cells, which make up over 80% of tumors, and small cells, which account for roughly 15% of tumors. When asbestos exposure is the cause of bronchial cancer, the person inhales the toxic mineral fibers, some of which become embedded in soft tissue. Over time, they cause severe inflammation and scarring, which may eventually lead to bronchial cancer.
Since this disease is rare, the risk of misdiagnosis is very high. For this reason, visiting multiple specialists is essential for a correct, accurate diagnosis. Most studies report that 25% of patients with bronchial tumors are asymptomatic, and consequently, these tumors are found incidentally.