Many of our Los Angeles readers have probably seen previous posts here discussing serious diseases that millions of Americans deal with every day, such as liver disease, heart disease and cancer. For many of these people, there is nothing they could have done to prevent the disease. There are many other cases, however, in which a person is suffering from an almost completely preventable disease - they have what is known as an "occupational disease."
An occupational disease is a condition that is associated primarily with one type of job. For instance, by now most people are familiar with the disease known as mesothelioma. This is a disease that many people contract due to their work in shipyards or other construction-based jobs in which they handled a material known as asbestos. Handling this material, now largely banned for the most part, can lead to fibers getting into a person's lungs. The condition can result in disability.
There are other conditions that can result from a person working in a particular profession, whether it is cancer, a respiratory disease or an infection. The key is that some of these conditions can be preventable when the right precautions are taken.
Being diagnosed with an occupational disease can change a person's life. If the condition worsens, there is chance that the person might not be able to work any longer. And that could leave an entire family in an uncertain financial position. If that happens, applying for Social Security Disability benefits may be an option.
Source: www.britannica.com, "Occupational Disease," accessed on Feb. 22, 2015