Toxic Substance Legal Advice

Most people believe that they are relatively safe from toxic substances. Millions of people go to work every day, confident that they will not be harmed by toxic substances in the air they breathe or in the products they use. Employees often believe their employer is knowledgeable about the toxicity of chemicals used in their industry. In actuality, many employees are unknowingly be exposed to toxic substances.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seeks to protect workers from hazardous substances through research, education, and regulatory activity. The NIOSH home page ( routinely issues approximately 70 to 80 publications every year, warning people of hazardous elements and danger in the workplace.

A May 2012 NIOSH publication, Flavoring-Related Lung Disease, warns of the risk to workers who breathe chemicals that are used to flavor food. The chemical diacetyl is used to impart a buttery flavor to foods such as oil, margarine, microwave popcorn, and various snack foods. Similar concerns are raised about another flavoring product, 2,3-pentanedione. Workers who work at plants using these chemicals are at risk of developing serious lung problems. This report underscores the fact that lung diseases, such as this one, are no longer limited to people who work in the mines or asbestos plants.

While NIOSH’s findings will certainly benefit many future workers, the discovery of toxicity comes too late for individuals who have spent years working in an industry. Given the nature of the disease process, workers may not experience problems with their health until they been exposed to these toxic substances for years. An experienced attorney can determine whether your or a loved one’s early death or disability resulted from exposure to toxins and hazards in the workplace.

The workplace is not the only place where individuals are exposed to chemical hazards and toxins. Each day, people are exposed to chemicals at home and in public. Home improvement products, cleaning products, and lawn chemicals can cause serious harm or even death.

For example, someone installing a new deck may be exposed to sawdust from wood treated with chemical preservatives. Following controversy surrounding arsenic-treated wood, the lumber industry has severely limited the use and sale of chromated copper arsenate. In addition to potential harm from wood products, homeowners may be exposed to harmful fumes from stains and topically applied wood preservation products.

Other home improvement products, such as paint, lacquer, resins, stains, and epoxy, often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are so dangerous that some states have actually banned VOC-containing products. Products that contain VOCs should warn consumers to use them in a well-ventilated area. These products produce fumes that are harmful and may cause respiratory damage, nerve and brain damage, and possibly death.

Children and pets may play on lawns sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides. Overspray from lawn and tree care products used by a neighbor can drift onto nearby yards where children are playing. Children are particularly sensitive to chemicals and toxic substances, and exposure to insecticides, weed killers, and fertilizers can cause respiratory problems and nerve damage.

Don’t hesitate to call 1-800-THE-EAGLE or fill out a convenient case form here if you suspect that you or a family member has been harmed by toxic substances at work or home.

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Email us information about your potential claim, or give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) for a free, no obligation consultation.
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