Ways Hazardous Chemicals Can Cause Injury
Hazardous chemicals on worksites can cause serious injuries to workers. American workers suffer more than 50,000 deaths and 190,000 illnesses related to chemical exposure every year, as reported by OSHA. Construction is one of the highest risk occupations for exposure to toxic substances.
What Are Hazardous Chemicals?
A hazardous chemical is any chemical that can cause a physical or health hazard, as defined by OSHA. It is a chemical with properties that have the potential to do harm to human or animal health or the environment. Hazardous chemicals commonly found in the workplace include:
- Asbestos: Found in a wide range of manufactured goods, including roofing shingles, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, cement products, coatings, gaskets, and automobile parts. Exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a fatal form of lung cancer.
- Lead: Found in construction and roofing materials, plumbing, brass and bronze fixtures, lead bullets, radiators, rechargeable batteries, and paint in buildings and on furniture built before 1978. Lead exposure attacks the brain and central nervous system.
- Benzene: Used to make pesticides, detergents, pharmaceuticals, rubber, and lubricants. High levels of exposure can damage the immune system and affect the blood.
- Mercury: Found in thermometers, barometers, medical equipment, and automotive parts. Exposure can cause weight loss, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and skin and eye irritation.
- Arsenic: Used in many industries and found in wood preservatives, paint, electronics, and glass production. Arsenic exposure can be harmful to the lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, eyes, and lymphatic system, and it can also cause cancer.
- Toluene: Clear, colorless liquid used in glues, adhesives, printing ink, rust preventatives, varnish, and paint. Long-term exposure may cause damage to the female reproductive system.
- Hexavalent chromium: Widely used in wood preservation, textile manufacturing, stainless steel production, leather tanning, and electroplating, hexavalent chromium has been shown to cause lung cancer when inhaled.
How Can Hazardous Chemicals Cause Injuries?
Exposure to hazardous chemicals can occur in the workplace due to negligence in administering, storing, or disposing of these dangerous materials. It can cause a range of serious injuries, including:
- Brain and neurological damage
- Respiratory damage
- Injury to reproductive systems
- Circulatory system damage
- Nausea, stomach pain, and digestive disorders
- Eye, skin, and throat irritation
Who Is Responsible for Hazardous Chemical Injuries?
Negligent employers may be responsible for hazardous chemical injuries on worksites. Under federal law, employers are required to meet certain safety standards. Nevertheless, chemical exposures in the workplace have been linked to cancer and diseases of the brain, nerves, heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, skin, and reproductive systems, as stated by OSHA. Property owners may also be responsible if exposure occurred because of hazardous substances existing on a property.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?
If you or your loved one has been injured through exposure to hazardous chemicals, get help from our Phoenix chemical exposure injury attorneys. We can investigate to determine how the exposure occurred, who was negligent, and who is liable for your injuries. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can gather evidence to support your claim, craft a strong case based on the evidence, assess the full extent of your damages – past, present, and future — and fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Husband & Wife Law Team has been listed among the Top Lawyers by North Valley Magazine. Mark Breyer was selected by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys as one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in Arizona for Client Satisfaction. Our firm settles or wins 98% of our cases.
Contact us at (602) 457-6222 to get a team of skilled legal advocates in your corner if you have suffered serious injuries caused by exposure to hazardous chemicals.