Mining is without doubt one of the most hazardous occupations on the face of the earth, or below it. There are numerous dangers that miners face. Rock falls, gas pocket explosions and equipment malfunctions claim thousands of lives each year. But as anyone visiting this site is likely to already know, just breathing the air in a mining environment can lead to long term health problems.
Although the instances of Silicosis have been decreasing due to better safety equipment, there are still thousand of sufferers across the globe. In a recent class action suit, 500,000 mine workers in South Africa were given the go ahead to take multinational gold companies to court for pain and suffering caused by inhaling silica laden air during their tenure in the mines of one of the worlds largest gold producers.
Will those miners receive the care that they need to live fulfilled life? It’s possible, but while treatments for Silicosis and tuberculosis may soothe symptoms, there is still no cure for the condition.
Those with Silicosis are faced with a lifetime of different types of treatment. The first line of treatment is to remove the person from the environment that causes the problem. The there several ways to make living with Silicosis easier.
Suppressing the cough that is usually associated with Silicosis is recommended and a course of antibiotics can treat any infection of the lungs.
Long term treatment involves anti-Tuberculosis drugs and physiotherapy.
Experimental treatments are being explored such as the inhalation of powdered aluminum, however, treatments such as this may come with another set of physiological problems.
Other, alternative treatments such as those based on Chinese herbal treatments have shown promise, but they are as yet unproven.
For those who suffer from the effects of Silicosis these approaches may offer hope.