If you work in a hazardous environment, you expose yourself to the risks of inhaling dangerous substances that could cause you to sneeze, cough, wheeze, and experience difficulties in breathing or shortness of breath. That is why you are required to wear a dust mask. Dust masks are meant to keep you safe from illnesses, especially those that affect the respiratory system. However, if the mask is defective, you will not experience this protection.

Consumer Alert Now brings you information regarding defective devices that might have caused you injuries. Through this information, you understand how another party’s negligence could cause suffering to many people and how these people can obtain help to recover their damages. Therefore, if you believe that dust masks 3M 8710, 3M 8210, or Cabot 2090 caused your injuries, you can get in touch with us. We could help you determine whether or not you have a case.

Importance of Dust masks

Every day we are exposed to all manner of dangerous substances in the environment that could harm us in one way or another. It becomes more worrying if you work in a place where you have exposure to dangerous chemicals and particles. In that case, the law requires your employer to provide safety precautions and guidance on how you can still work and remain safe. One way through which people working in hazardous environments need is protective gear, among them dust masks. If the main toxins in your work environment are dangerous gases and particles you could breathe in, dust masks are recommended.

There are all kinds of dust masks on the market today. Each of them is designed differently and offers a unique form of protection. The main thing is that any type of dust mask should keep the wearer safe from suffering illnesses, especially those related to the respiratory system. Respiratory diseases are dangerous as they could reduce your quality of life as well as the length of time you can live. They are the illnesses that cause you to cough, wheeze, and experience shortness of breath and sometimes breathing difficulties.

People do not showcase the same level of symptoms after exposure to dangerous substances. One thing for sure is that serious illnesses are bound to come. Continuous exposure to hazardous particles and chemicals could even result in death. Dust masks are meant to prevent the wearer from breathing in anything dangerous that could harm their life. However, if the mask is defective, then bits of toxic air will enter their body and eventually cause injury. Some people do not realize this until after a long time inhaling dangerous chemicals and particles. That is why the responsible party should be held accountable for the resulting damage.

In the workplace, employers are required by law to take charge of their employer’s health and safety while they are on duty. If your workplace has been assessed for health risks and everyone has been ordered to wear a dust mask every day at work, the rule should apply even if you are called in for quick and straightforward jobs. Many people who have experienced work-related respiratory illnesses realized that they are affected after so many years of working in a hazardous environment. It means that inhaling small amounts of toxins can cause significant harm to your health in the future.

After providing dust masks to their employees, employers must also provide proper training on their use. Employers should not assume that employees know how to wear dust masks properly and when to have them on. Incorrect use of dust masks does not offer you the protection you need. It means that even with a quality mask, you can still get exposed to dangerous toxins and suffer harm.

If the information has been provided, but employees still report respiratory illnesses, it could mean that the dust mask was defective. This is what has brought about the lawsuit against manufacturers and sellers of dust masks 3M 8710, 3M 8210, and Cabot 2090.

Defective Dust Masks 3M 8710, 3M 8210, or Cabot 2090

Continuous wearing of dust masks comes with its set of challenges, among them discomfort. Human beings are used to being free, breathing in, and freely. This kind of breathing does not happen if you have to wear a dust mask hour after hour during your work shift. That is why manufacturers of dust masks have designed masks that will allow users to breathe easily and go on about their lives without any form of discomfort. In addition to comfort, these masks provide safety against airborne hazards, including lead, wooden dust, and welding.

For most employers, dust masks like these are the most ideal for their employees. Besides keeping them safe, employers want their employees to have an easy time as they go about their day-to-day activities. 3M 8710, 3M 8210, and Cabot 2090 are the kinds of dust masks that will offer more than mere protection to users. They are designed to fit perfectly, have a cool flow valve, and a high-performing filter media, among other features. They are the kinds of masks employers will not hesitate to buy to provide safety to their employees working in hazardous environments.

However, there are reports that these masks do not meet the end of their bargain, hence harming so many people who have been using them for years. Affected people have called out the manufacturers and sellers of these dust masks for selling defective products that do not offer guaranteed protection as promised. The law allows these people to seek compensation for their losses. But they have to provide irrefutable proof that they suffered injuries because of a defective dust mask. Suppose their evidence is allowed in court, and the judge feels that the manufacturer/seller of the defective dust mask is responsible for their injuries. In that case, the court will award the plaintiffs’ damages.

Defective and dangerous products have caused a lot of harm to millions of people in the country. If you have bought something that does not work as effectively as advertised, and from it, you suffered an injury, you are allowed by law to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Filing a personal injury claim ensures that you recover your losses and that the responsible party takes responsibility for their carelessness. Most product liability cases fall under mass tort/class action claims, especially in cases where several people have suffered similar injuries due to the use of the same defective product.

Class Action Lawsuit against 3M Dust Masks

Former coal miner workers have filed a lawsuit against 3M Company, claiming that dust masks and respirators from the company are faulty as they caused them prolonged exposure to coal dirt, which resulted in black lung disease. Their claim alleges the company and other entities should have been aware that the said products did not provide the adequate protection users needed from dangerous hazards. Their lawsuit also asserts that specific dust masks that the company may have produced before 1998 might have been faulty and incapable of protecting them from dust particles that cause black lung disease.

The coal mining sector is one of the dangerous places to work. Coal miners need adequate and effective protection against dust particles as they could cause irreversible damage to their lungs. When a company designs and sells them dust masks, coal miners expect that those masks will work and keep them safe from the toxic dust to make a living and enjoy a long and healthy life after that. However, this wasn’t what happened to these miners. Thus, coal miners have accused the 3M Company of negligence, breach of duty of care, and product liability for knowingly selling dangerously defective respirators to employees in this industry.

Defendants included in the class action lawsuit are 3M Company and other companies that sold the defective products, including Persinger Supply Company, Eastern State Mine supply, American Optical Corp., and Kentucky Mines Supply Company.

The Black Lung Disease

American Lung Association defines black lung disease, also called the coal employees’ pneumoconiosis or CWP, as a type of disease that results from prolonged breathing of coal dirt. The condition is commonly referred to as black lung because those that suffer from it have lungs that have turned blackish from their standard pink color. There are mainly two types of black lung diseases that affect coal miners: Simple and complicated pneumoconiosis. Complicated CWP will also involve a massive progression of fibrosis. Both simple and complicated CWP are severe conditions that could affect the affected miner’s quality of life.

Simple CWP is the disease in its earlier stage. Some of the affected miners can showcase symptoms earlier than others. It is good as the disease can be treated before it becomes complicated. A miner with symptoms for a simple CWP infection will develop masses of nodules inside their lungs. These nodules form at the place where coal dust is settled and has been building up since the first inhalation.

Complicated CWP, on the other hand, is due to an extensive period of inhaling coal dust.  As mentioned above, not all cases of black lung disease showcase their symptoms early. Therefore, the illness can develop and progress with time without the person realizing it. As it progresses, massive fibroids will grow in his/her lungs, thereby affecting the lungs’ functioning. This is a more complicated form of the disease that is even life-threatening.

Sometimes complicated CWP can occur together with rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in a condition known as Caplan syndrome.

The black lung disease for coal workers occurs due to the building up of coal dust in their lungs for an extended period until their lungs’ color turns visibly black. The change is not just in color but also in the functioning of the lungs. The buildup from coal dust causes significant damage to the human lungs. Sometimes, it can damage the lining of the miners’ air sacs, hence inhibiting the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Other times the buildup can cause stiffening of the human lungs, which affects their capacity to expand when filled with oxygen. Generally, the overall functioning of the lungs is affected, and so is the general well-being of the person.

Is Pneumoconiosis Serious?

Yes, any disease that affects the functioning of an internal body organ is severe. Thus, even a slight case of Pneumoconiosis will be severe. However, the severity of the disease varies greatly, based mainly on the kind of coal dust the patient has inhaled and how much of his/her lung has been affected. The length of time and intensity of exposure will matter too.

Sometimes the disease comes without any symptoms. In such cases, the affected person is diagnosed once they undergo a workplace surveillance program that tests coal miners to find whether or not they have signs of the disease. Testing is done using spirometry and/or chest X-rays. The former is a breathing test conducted to determine how well or otherwise air enters and leaves the lungs. If the person tests positive for the black lung disease, they are put under medication even without the symptoms. Only in rare cases will you find a severe case of pneumoconiosis that could lead to death.

Symptoms of Pneumoconiosis

Symptoms of black lung disease do not manifest immediately after the person becomes exposed to coal dust. It could take several years and sometimes a decade for the symptoms to appear. That is the time the person’s lungs will have been greatly affected. Some coal mine workers go about their day-to-day activities without realizing that they already have contracted the disease. For some, they get their first symptoms several years after retirement. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms of this disease include:

  • A cough, sometimes accompanied by black sputum.
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Decreased functioning of the lungs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased production of mucus
  • Pulmonary hypertension

Is It Curable?

Unfortunately, CWP is not curable. Damage to the lungs is irreversible. Additionally, all conditions that are related to black lung disease are progressive, with no cure. That is why there is a need for coal workers to protect themselves by the use of quality dust masks at all times. The only way to stay safe is to ensure that you do not inhale any coal dust.

The good news is that there are treatment options available for those with the disease. Treatment includes medication that could keep their airwaves open and those that could reduce mucus production. Patients could also benefit from oxygen therapy as well as pulmonary rehabilitation.

Former Machinist Says Faulty Cabot 2090 Caused Him Injuries

A former machinist named Louis Tyler was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2015. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer, which develops in the abdominal lining of a person that has been exposed to asbestos fibers. Tyler worked as a machinist for 20 years. During the time his employer provided him and his colleagues with Cabot 2090 respirator from American Optical Corp., the respirator was meant to protect them from inhaling the dangerous asbestos dust while at work. Unfortunately, this did not happen as the respirators the machinist received were allegedly faulty. As a result, the machinist inhaled asbestos dust, which consequently resulted in rare cancer disease.

Like the above case by coal workers, the machinist depended on the dust mask’s manufacturer’s protection and was terribly failed. The respirator was ineffective and inadequate in protecting him against the inhalation of asbestos, and so, it caused his injuries. For this reason, the former machinist decided to sue the manufacturer and sellers of the faulty dust masks to recover compensation for his damages. Included in his claim were American Optical Corp. and companies like Cabot Corp., General Electric Co., Foster Wheeler LLC, and Los Angeles Rubber Co., among others.

In the end, the court settled for Cabot 2090 manufacturer as the responsible party. The company was accused of negligence, design defect, manufacturing defect, failing to warn consumers, concealment, and intentional misrepresentation. The plaintiff’s report claimed that American Optical Corp. was aware of how dangerous asbestos is but went ahead to market its defective dust mask, even when it knew that the mask could not offer adequate and effective protection against asbestos. Tyler and many other machinists took the company at its word and relied on the respirator’s defense without knowing the danger they were exposed to.

The plaintiff’s defense further argued that even after knowing that the respirators were ineffective in preventing inhalation of asbestos, it continued to market and supply them to the market. The company was also accused of producing a defective protective gear that could not fit well and could not provide adequate protection. In addition to that, the information provided on the product’s packaging was insufficient to warn end-users like Tyler that the respirator was ineffective and may not offer enough protection against asbestos.

In short, the evidence gathered against American Optical Corp. was overwhelming, and so the court awarded Tyler all his damages.  After all, it is due to the exposure he experienced even after wearing a dust mask that caused him mesothelioma. Suppose the respirator worked as the manufacturer purported. In that case, Tyler and so many other people could not have suffered injuries even after working in an environment exposed to asbestos.

What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs when asbestos fibers lodge in the human abdomen’s lining. The results are malignant tumors. The main symptoms that patients experience once cancer starts to develop are pain and swelling. Other signs to watch out for include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Ascites or abdominal swelling
  • Sweating at night
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation

The disease develops in three main stages, as explained:

  • Stage 1 is when the cancerous tissues are still small, though there are tumors within the abdomen’s lining. In this stage, the lymph nodes are usually free of cancer.
  • Stage 2 is when the cancerous tissues are moderate, and the tumors have started to spread out of the abdominal lining or to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3 is when the cancerous tissues are more extensive, and tumors have started to spread out of the peritoneal lining and lymph nodes.

If the tumors spread extensively, then the patient will be considered at stage 4 of cancer.

Anti-cancer medications can be used for the treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. On top of that, patients can receive palliative care to control their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Have You or Your Loved One Been Affected?

If you are one of those people that have been affected after using any of the defective dust masks above, you can join a class action near you to recover your damages. So many people have been affected. By joining efforts, plaintiffs can develop an even stronger case against the responsible parties to ensure that they recover their damages.

To do this, get in touch with an attorney and follow the legal guideline. An experienced attorney will help you gather all the evidence you need, including medical reports, to strengthen your case. He/she will also know the right documents to file in court to join a class action. Note that the types of damages you can recover will be based on the type of injury you have incurred from using a defective product.

Find Help Filing a Defective Dust Mask Lawsuit Near Me

Dust masks should protect and not expose their wearers to environmental hazards. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as experienced by some users of dust masks 3M 8710, 3M 8210, and Cabot 2090. Since these are devices that could have affected many people, you may be able to join a class-action lawsuit near you. It may increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. For more information regarding defective devices and whether you have a case, call Consumer Alert Now at 800-511-0747. We provide information and assist our clients in recovering their losses.