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Exposure to Toxic Substances

Pennsylvania Chemical and Toxic Exposure Attorney

The effects of exposure to toxic substances can be both far-reaching and long-lasting. Those who have been the victims of chemical exposure may face chronic health problems. These issues can cause significant economic hardship due to expensive medical bills and the inability to work. In some cases, people can lose their lives due to exposure to deadly toxic chemicals. In either case, the emotional toll on victims and their loved ones can be devastating.

If you have suffered injury or illness due to toxic exposure, or if you have lost a loved one as a result of hazardous chemicals, you may be eligible for significant compensation. The Pennsylvania chemical and toxic exposure attorneys at Stine & Associates, P.C., have the experience and skills to handle your chemical or toxic lawsuit. Call our legal team today or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation with a Greensburg personal injury attorney.

Types of Hazardous Materials That Can Cause Toxic Chemical Exposure

Many types of hazardous materials can lead to toxic chemical exposure and subsequent injuries or illnesses. Some of the most common include:

  • Asbestos– Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat and corrosion, which made asbestos widely used in insulation, roofing, and fireproofing materials in the 20th However, asbestos particles can cause lung diseases like mesothelioma when inhaled.
  • Lead– Lead can be found in old paint, water pipes, gasoline, batteries, and manufacturing facilities. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain and nervous system damage, especially in children.
  • Pesticides– Pesticides and herbicides contain chemicals designed to kill insects, rodents, mold, or plants. However, many of these chemicals are also toxic to humans and can cause cancer, reproductive issues, and nerve damage.
  • Mold– Mold spores contain mycotoxins that can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems when inhaled. Mold exposure is common in buildings with excess moisture.
  • Benzene– Benzene is a natural component of crude oil and gasoline that is also used widely in industrial settings. Benzene is a known carcinogen that affects bone marrow and can lead to leukemia.
  • Formaldehyde– Formaldehyde is used in pressed wood products, textiles, and glues due to its preservative properties. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is also an irritant and carcinogen when inhaled.

Varieties of Chemical and Toxic Exposure Claims

The injury attorneys at Stine & Associates, P.C., can handle all types of toxic and chemical exposure claims. The process for your claim will differ depending on the circumstances surrounding your exposure. Here are the forms your claim might take.

Toxic Exposure Work Injury

Toxic exposure is all too common in many fields of employment. It is particularly prevalent among construction workers and factory employees. Whether your work-related illness resulted from concentrated exposure over a short period or long-term exposure to lower levels, you may be eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. In some instances, you may also be able to file a third-party personal injury claim for additional compensation. A legal consultation with a workplace injury lawyer can help you understand your options for chemical and toxic exposure injury compensation.

Defective Consumer Products

In some cases, seeking compensation for your toxic exposure injuries will require a product liability claim. This may be the case because a product had a faulty design, manufacturing errors, or an insufficient warning label, leading to exposure to hazardous materials. A product liability claim can allow you to seek compensation from the product’s designer, manufacturer, or distributor. Examples include claims against products such as:

  • Pesticides
  • Detergents
  • Herbicides
  • Talcum powder

Pharmaceuticals

If you have suffered adverse consequences due to exposure to dangerous toxins within a prescription or over-the-counter medication, you can file a claim to hold the drug’s manufacturer accountable.

Chemical Exposure at Home or a Place of Business

If you have been the victim of exposure to toxic materials in your home or at a place of business, you may be able to file a claim against the building’s owner, a contractor, or the previous owner. For example, the disturbance of asbestos or mold within the walls may result from negligence, leading to serious health issues.

Illnesses Resulting from Chemical Exposure

Toxic chemical exposure can lead to a wide variety of illnesses and health effects, both immediately and over the long term. Some potential illnesses include:

  • Cancers– Carcinogenic substances like asbestos, benzene, pesticides, and radiation can trigger the growth of cancerous tumors in various parts of the body. Common cancer types from chemical exposure include lung cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and mesothelioma.
  • Respiratory Diseases– Inhaled particles from asbestos, silica, gases, mold, and other irritants can scar and inflame lung tissue. This can result in asbestosis, COPD, asthma, pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Neurological Effects– Lead, mercury, solvents, and pesticides act as neurotoxins. Exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, leading to IQ, memory, and coordination deficits.
  • Skin Conditions– Corrosive acids, solvents, and caustics can burn the skin on contact. Other chemicals may trigger allergic reactions like dermatitis or lesions.
  • Liver and Kidney Damage– Toxic metabolites from chemical processing in the liver and kidneys can cause organ damage or failure.
  • Reproductive Issues– Chemicals like pesticides, mercury, lead, and benzene are linked to reduced fertility, congenital disabilities, miscarriage, and impaired development in children.
  • Psychological Effects– In addition to neurotoxins, some chemicals have been associated with mood disorders, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and reduced cognitive function with chronic low-level exposure over time.

Why Toxic Tort Claims Are So Complex

Toxic tort claims arising from chemical exposures bring unique complexities that set them apart from other personal injury cases:

  • Latent Illnesses– Many diseases caused by toxins take years or even decades to manifest symptoms. This makes causation challenging to prove and filing deadlines more complicated.
  • Multiple Sources– Exposure may have occurred at different jobs, in different buildings, or through the use of various products over time. Identifying which source or sources caused the injury can be challenging.
  • Scientific Expertise– Extensive scientific data and expert testimony are needed to establish causation between toxin exposure and subsequent illnesses.
  • Statutes of Limitation– The latent nature of illnesses complicates deadlines to file claims. However, exceptions may apply that allow victims to extend legal deadlines.
  • Multiple Defendants– Those responsible may include manufacturers, distributors, employers, contractors, and premises owners. Naming all potentially liable parties is critical.
  • Class Action Potential– If many people were exposed to the same toxin, a class action suit may offer the best chance of success and compensation.

For these reasons, working with an experienced toxic tort attorney is essential.

Deadline for Chemical and Toxic Lawsuits in Pennsylvania

As with most personal injury cases, Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations requires you to file a toxic tort lawsuit within two years of when your illness occurred. However, as many people do not realize that they have been exposed to toxic substances until much later, you should speak with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania chemical exposure attorney as soon as possible to determine whether exceptions might apply in your case.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you have suffered adverse consequences or lost a loved one due to chemical or toxic exposure, or if you have encountered a chemical lawsuit problem when trying to file, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned legal team at Stine & Associates, P.C., has been fighting for injured Pennsylvanians for more than 30 years. We serve clients in Greensburg and throughout Westmoreland County. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.