Toxic Contamination Lawsuit
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show widespread exposure to some commonly used chemicals in the U.S. population. Fire retardants, for example, which accumulate in human fat tissue and have been linked to hormone disruption, were found in the blood samples of nearly all subjects tested. Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in plastics that may have potential reproductive toxicity, was found in more than 90 percent of urine samples taken.
Perfluorinated chemicals, byproducts of manufacturing heat-resistant and non-stick cookware, were found in most of the CDC study participants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has linked two of these chemicals—PFOA and its close cousin, PFOS—to developmental effects, cancer, liver and immune system effects, and thyroid problems.
Even some chemicals that we’re no longer using are still capable of causing health problems today. Over 11 million Americans, for example, were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1978, and many are now dealing with mesothelioma and other cancers because of it.
Clean air, water, and soil are necessary elements to sustain human health. When these elements are contaminated due to the negligence of corporations and other entities, it can disrupt the lives of thousands of Americans, resulting in serious health problems and costly economic damages.
Chaffin Luhana toxic substances lawyers are dedicated to helping people who have been exposed either at home or on the job to dangerous levels of toxic substances. If you or a loved one is suffering from health problems as a result of this type of exposure, you may be able to recover damages in court.
How Toxic Chemicals Harm Human Health
Some studies show a rising threat of exposure to a wide variety of chemicals that can affect the heart, brain, and reproductive health.
In a 2015 study, for example, researchers reported that dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals over the past four decades were threatening human reproduction and health, increasing risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, reduced cognitive function, cancer, and attention deficit problems.
Lead author of the article, Gian Carlo Di Renzo, M.D., Ph.D., stated, “We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals, and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern.”
Recent contamination stories have also raised concerns about chemical exposure. In 2016, PFOA was found in the water again in Hoosick Falls, New York. Investigations revealed it was coming from the Saint Gobain Performance Plastics plant, and the plant later agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city. Petersburgh, New York also reported PFOA contamination from the Taconic Plastics Limited plant, and in 2018, court authorities approved the first class-action lawsuit concerning the issue. We are currently litigating these cases.
The Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis, for example, began in 2014 when the city switched their water source from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the cheaper Flint River. Lead leached from the pipes into the drinking water, exposing over 100,000 residents to dangerous levels. Lead is linked to health issues affecting the heart, kidneys, and nerves, and is particularly dangerous to young children, in which it can cause hearing and developmental problems, as well as impaired cognition.
Chemical company DuPont faced fines from the EPA after their Washington Works plant in West Virginia released the Teflon-processing chemical PFOA into the drinking water in the surrounding areas. The company later had to defend thousands of lawsuits related to the issue, while a court-appointed science panel found evidence of a link between PFOA and several types of cancer, including kidney and testicular cancer. In 2017, the company agreed to a $670.7 million settlement involving about 3,550 lawsuits related to PFOA injury claims.
Exposure to Mold Can Also Lead to Health Issues
Research shows that 10-50% of residential and work environments have water damage, which can lead to mold toxicity. The CDC notes that exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects including respiratory irritation, coughing or wheezing, asthma symptoms in people with asthma, eye irritation, skin irritation, and in those with mold allergies, even more serious reactions.
“Toxic mold” is a certain type of mold, which under the right circumstances can release potentially dangerous chemicals into the air. These toxins have been linked to more serious health issues like “sick building syndrome,” immune suppression, and pulmonary fibrosis (scarring in the lungs).
Two of the most well-known molds that may produce toxins are Stachybotrys (black mold) and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys is found on materials such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth requires moisture, excessive humidity, or leaks and flooding. Aspergillus is a group of molds that grow on plants, decaying leaves, compost piles, and other outdoor areas, as well as in heating and cooling ducts or in insulation. They also need moisture for growth.
Recently, hospitals have been facing increasing mold problems. In 2017, CNN reported that heavy mold growth was found in linens used at two University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals—where five mold-infection-related deaths had occurred since 2014. A sixth death was later added to the list, and a lawsuit filed against the hospitals.
That same year, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators discovered mold at the Salem, Virginia Veterans’ Hospital, where two employees reported health issues. OSHA classified the mold growth as “serious” and noted that it could be linked to problems like allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and aggravation of existing health conditions.
In January 2019, the New York Daily News reported that mold was found in Staten Island University Hospital, where it was blamed for causing illness in dozens of employees, including sore throats, headaches, burning eyes, metal taste in the mouth, and a feeling of haziness.
Mold has also been found in schools, office buildings, apartment complexes, and more. When it isn’t addressed and removed as it should be, victims may be able to recover damages in court.
How a Toxic Contamination Lawyer Can Help
If you are exposed to a toxic substance because of another party’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the expenses that come with managing the resulting health issues. If your employer didn’t provide you with the proper protective equipment, for example, or if your landlord was remiss in taking care of water damage, they can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
What can be difficult is proving that the other party was at fault. That’s where Chaffin Luhana’s toxic contamination attorneys come in. We have the experience necessary to perform a thorough investigation of the case, unearthing evidence necessary to show that you were victimized because of another’s negligence. We also know how to fight for your rights against other entities that will argue that other factors could have caused your injury.
Liability in these cases can rest on several categories of defendants based on the details of a particular case. These may include:
- Property owners and landlords
- Companies or individuals that illegally dispose of chemicals
- Chemical manufacturers
- Transporters of toxic materials
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Companies that use toxic chemicals
- Cities or counties
- Product manufacturers
We Can Help With These Types of Toxic Exposures
Toxic injuries can develop from exposure to the following substances and more:
- Diacetyl and other flavoring chemicals
- Heavy metals
- Lead poisoning
- Mercury poisoning
- Mold and toxic mold
- PFOA and PFOS
- Radiation exposure
- Toxic mold
- Toxic petroleum (gas)
These toxins may be present in the air, in groundwater, in consumer products, at the workplace, or in the home.
Experienced Toxic Contamination Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or disease because of exposure to a toxic substance, call us today for a free consultation. Chaffin Luhana is now investigating these cases, and will not charge you unless we recover damages for you. Call today at 1-888-480-1123.