The toxic tort lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy have been working with people diagnosed with occupational diseases from exposure to metalworking fluids for years. In that time, we have represented thousands of individuals and their families from across the United States who are involved in litigation involving respiratory diseases from occupational exposure.
This website is dedicated to providing you with as much information about the dangers of exposure to metalworking fluids and the respiratory diseases like hypersensitivity pneumonitis and occupational asthma caused when a person breathes in these dangerous fluids.
When a person is diagnosed with a respiratory disease, the impacts can be long-term and life changing. Having an experienced attorney help you traverse this unknown path can allow you to focus on getting well. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an occupational disease from exposure to metalworking fluids, contact the toxic tort attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy today for a free consultation with any occupational hazard questions – medical or legal – you may have.
What are cutting fluids?
Cutting fluids are also known as metalworking fluids, coolants, cutting oils, machining fluids, metalwashing fluids or lubricants. These fluids are most often used in manufacturing industries to prolong the life of machines and tools and to protect or treat the surface of the metal being machined.
Types of cutting fluids range from straight oil, such as petroleum oils, to water-based fluids like soluble oils and synthetic fluids. The mixture can include other fluids such as emulsifiers, anti-weld agents, corrosion inhibitors, extreme pressure additives, buffers and biocides.
The dangers of exposure to cutting fluid
Exposure to cutting fluids or metalworking fluids can have serious, long-term consequences and can be linked to various respiratory diseases including hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Water-based metalworking fluids support the growth of biological contaminants, which when inhaled can cause respiratory diseases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 1.2 million workers in the machine finishing, machine tooling and other metalworking and metal-forming industries are potentially exposed to organic contaminents through the use of cutting fluids.
These people have worked hard their entire lives. They have built our country, including the products that make it strong. At hundreds of job sites across the United States, hundreds of thousands of workers experience exposure to metalworking fluids on a daily basis which puts their long-term health at risk.
Occupational exposure to metalworking fluids occurs by breathing aerosois – or the mist – generated during the machining process or through skin contact when workers touch machine parts, equipment or tools covered with metalworking fluids.
The United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers of American have repeatedly petitioned the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration to set comprehensive standards for metalworking fluids. Currently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that exposure to metalworking fluid aerosols be limited to 0.4 milligrams per cubic meter of air. However, it is just that, a recommendation, it is not enforced.
The Simmons law firm has worked for decades to protect its clients’ rights after they have been exposed to toxic substances like metalworking fluids in the workplace. We understand the physical and emotional challenges patients face when pursing legal action.
For more information about the dangers of cutting or metalworking fluids or for a free consultation, please contact us.