Toxic Chemical Injuries
What is a chemical injury? It can be obvious, such as when a worker is overcome by fumes from a chemical spill. For example, residents in El Paso were awakened one day in 2012 after a chemical spill in a backyard shed. The spill was a concentrated form of malathion, which is a pesticide that can be bought at any hardware store. In this case, the chemical became unstable because of high summer temperatures, which are common in El Paso. The malathion ate through the bottom of the container and spilled into the shed. Neighbors complained of feeling dizzy, nauseous and vomiting. These are common symptoms in cases of chemical injuries.
Then there was the accident in 2009 involving a tractor-trailer that overturned on a highway north of Philadelphia. For as long as nine hours, thousands of area residents were forced to evacuate and stay out of the area. The tanker was carrying 33,000 pounds of corrosive hydrofluoric acid, which is one ingredient in household detergents. Had residents failed to evacuate, they could have experienced irritation in the eyes, nose and respiratory tract. In higher doses, exposure to hydrofluoric acid can cause severe burns, chronic lung disease or death.
Sudden spills such as these examples occur more commonly in factories, industrial parks, and along railroad lines and highways. People who are at the highest risks for chemical exposure are those who work with hazardous materials on a daily basis, such as painters, mechanics, printers or construction workers. Chemical workers and petroleum refinery workers are probably the most exposed to these dangers. Chemicals that are harmful to your health are numerous and can lead to brain damage or even death. Some chemical injuries can be long term and subtle; these can occur after prolonged exposure over many years, often in a work place.
Some common types of chemicals include:
- Solvents are chemical solutions often used in industrial processes. They include benzene, ammonia, and chloroform. Exposure to the chemical benzene causes injury to the bone marrow, blood cells that can lead to blood diseases including, leukemia, anemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other diseases.
- Carbon monoxide can be found in car exhaust, smoke, or exhaust from factory machines. This chemical can be poisonous and lead to death if encountered in large quantities. Exposure can cause dementia, speech disturbances, depression and memory loss.
- Lead minerals can also be poisonous and mainly affects those dealing with leaded gasoline or lead paint. Lead poisoning can cause learning disorders and seizures. It can affect the digestive system.
Chemicals that are harmful to your health are numerous. Other common types of toxins include asbestos, chemicals and cosmetics, toxic wastes from ground water contamination, medical products and devices, pesticides, defective drugs, radiation, tobacco and mercury.
Another health problem, chemical sensitivity, has been identified as a chronic condition that the sufferer attributes to low-level exposure over a long period of time. In this case, the symptoms include headaches, fatigue and nausea. People who suffer from chemical sensitivity often find themselves unable to work or hold a job. Chemicals included as suspect in developing this condition are paint fumes, scented products such as perfumes, plastics, smoke, pesticides and petroleum products.
Chemical sensitivity is also known as chemical injury syndrome or environmental illness. Some people call it "sick building syndrome."
Toxic tort litigation can be complex, which makes it even more essential that you have an experienced attorney working for you. For more than 40 years, Kreisman Law Offices has been handling toxic chemical injuries like lead poisoning, toxic mold, asbestos, benzene exposure and workplace hazards. The Chicago lawyers of Kreisman Law Offices are compassionate and experienced in seeking justice for you.
If you have been a victim of toxic exposure, you would be entitled to be compensated for these injuries. Contact Kreisman Law Offices 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.