Californian workers fight hard to have a good and healthy environment to do their jobs in. Unfortunately, sometimes the workplace environment can pose as a health hazard despite one's best efforts.
FindLaw defines occupational disease simply, stating that it's any illness that comes from "the characteristic conditions or functions" of a person's place of work, as opposed to exposures that the general public faces. For example, someone who works in a plant dealing with toxic chemicals faces unique workplace-based exposures to danger that can, over time, impact their health.
Web MD cites a common example found in employees who worked with diacetyl, a chemical often used to give foods like popcorn the iconic buttery taste. This chemical caused a long-term issue with the lungs of the workers exposed to it, later dubbed "popcorn lung". This is an illness that makes it difficult for one to breathe due to the damage done to the smallest vessels in the lungs. Unfortunately, damage like this is irreversible and a person can suffer for the rest of their lives.
Many workplace diseases function in a similar way. The exposure during any given work period can impact a person for the rest of their lives. Cancers, lung diseases like COPD, mesothelioma, and asbestosis are common afflictions. Millions of dollars have been paid out in lawsuits against materials that people still work with.
Because of these risks to a person's health, there is a lot of information about litigation surrounding occupational diseases. Having a guiding hand can help a person decide their best personal path to compensation.