Every day we come into contact with chemicals that may or may not be harmful to us. When those chemicals are hazardous, severe injuries can occur. If you’ve been harmed by exposures to hazardous substances in your environment, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What is a Toxic Chemical?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies a toxic chemical as any substance that may be harmful to the environment or hazardous to your health if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Toxic chemical exposure can be hazardous either because it is poisonous or it can lead to adverse health effects.
There was a poison exposure reported to the U.S. National Poison Control Center every 15 seconds in 2014. The majority of exposures were unintentional and due to common products like pain medications, cleaning products, and pesticides. Unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States have increased by 160 percent from 1999 to 2009, and drug poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the nation.
Dangers of Toxic Chemical Exposure
The toxicity of a substance is measured by the types of health effects it causes and its potency. The severity of health effects from toxic chemical exposure depends on the kind of chemical you come in contact with, how much of the chemical you come in contact with, the length and frequency of the exposure, individual susceptibility, and the means of exposure (i.e. inhalation, ingestion, direct dermal contact, etc.).
Toxic chemical exposure can cause acute (short-term) and/or chronic (long-term) heath effects. Acute effects can be minor, such as a throat irritation, or more serious, such as passing out from chemical vapors. Chronic effects tend to be permanent or may not be alleviated until years after exposure. Chronic effects are most likely to occur in cases of consistent exposure over a long period of time.
With an estimated 650,000 chemicals in existence and 1,000 new chemicals introduced each year, it is important to be aware of the potentially negative consequences of exposure. Toxic chemical exposure can contribute or cause a number of serious health effects including respiratory failure, heart ailments, kidney and lung damage, infertility, cancer, burns, asthma, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, and even death.
Symptoms of Toxic Chemical Exposure
Symptoms will vary depending on the type of chemical and area of the body affected. Symptoms can include:
- Throat or eye irritation
- Watery eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Rash or redness of the skin
- Loss of balance
Toxic Chemical Exposure at Work
Chemical exposure is considered one of the top 5 workplace hazards in America. OSHA estimates that more than 30 million people work with or are potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Toxic chemical exposure in the workplace can lead to more severe consequences because it is more likely to occur at higher levels and over longer periods of time.
Workers who regularly come into contact with chemicals, such as solvents, paint, gasoline, pesticides, propane, detergents, cleaners, and metal fumes, are at an increased risk of exposure. Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment. This includes compliance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, which addresses chemical safety requirements in the workplace.
How Our Houston Work Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were exposed to toxic chemicals as the result of unsafe working conditions or negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The Houston work accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have extensive experience helping injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve. Our goal is to fight for the maximum possible compensation in your case so that you can focus on putting your life back together following a serious workplace injury.
Contact us today at (281) 283-8500 or online to schedule your free, no-risk consultation.