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EEOICPA Allows Solvent Exposed Workers Recovery for Hearing Loss

     Hearing loss can be compensable under Part E of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) if such loss arises as a result of exposure to one or more of the organic solvents listed below in conjunction with employment in at least one of certain specified labor categories during a prescribed timeframe.

a. Conditions for Acceptance. To be compensable, all of the following conditions must be satisfied for the employee:

(1) Exposure to certain specific organic solvents for 10 consecutive years;

(2) Verified covered employment within at least one specific job category for a period of 10 consecutive years, completed prior to 1990; and

(3) Diagnosed sensorineural hearing loss in both ears (conductive hearing loss is not known to be linked to toxic substance exposure).

     If an employee has a diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, and the employee was exposed to one of the listed chemical solvents, and worked in one of the listed labor categories for the required concurrent and unbroken 10-year period, then the claim can be accepted for the covered illness of hearing loss.  Compensable claims for sensorineural hearing loss due to organic solvent exposure must have evidence in the case file that the employee was concurrently exposed to certain specific organic solvents and worked within a certain job category for a consecutive and unbroken period of ten years, completed prior to 1990. Experts have determined that at least one of these organic solvents would likely have been used in covered facilities prior to 1990. Currently, the only organic solvents shown in research literature to contribute to sensorineural hearing loss are the following:

• Toluene

• Styrene

• Xylene

• Trichloroethylene

• Methyl Ethyl Ketone

• Methyl Isobutyl Ketone

• Ethyl Benzene

     To be compensable, the employee must have worked in one of the following labor categories for a continuous 10-year period, completed prior to 1990:

  • Boilermaker
  • Chemical Operator
  • Chemist
  • Electrician/Electrical Maintenance/Lineman
  • Electroplater/Electroplating Technician
  • Garage/Auto/Equipment Mechanic
  • Guard/Security Officer/Security Patrol Officer (i.e. firearm cleaning activities)
  • Instrument Mechanic/ Instrument technician
  • Janitor
  • Laboratory Analyst/Aide
  • Laboratory Technician/Technologist
  • Lubricator
  • Machinist
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Millwright
  • Operator (most any kind)
  • Painter
  • Pipefitter
  • Printer/Reproduction clerk
  • Refrigeration Mechanic/HVAC Mechanic
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Utility Operator

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website.

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