What Constitutes Toxic Exposure?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Nancy J. Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C..

What Constitutes Toxic Exposure?
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Toxic exposure is for the most part exactly what it sounds like; exposure to a toxic chemical or other substance, both naturally occurring and man-made, which results in some kind of harm to the affected parties. Some people may be exposed to certain toxins at work, such as those who work in fields requiring the frequent use of chemicals. Other people may find themselves exposed to toxins at home as a result of poor or out-of-date construction, or even due to some catastrophic event. While children are considered particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic exposure, anyone can experience serious negative side effects, ranging from mild or severe illness to death.

Some of the most common toxins involved in toxic exposure claims include the following:

  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Mercury
  • Benzene
  • Silica
  • Talc
  • Mold
  • Formaldehyde
  • Pesticides/herbicides
  • Dangerous pharmaceuticals

Injuries associated with toxic exposure include but are not limited to:

  • Chemical burns, rashes, and skin damage
  • Eye damage
  • Throat and lung damage
  • Brain injuries or neurological damage (especially in children)

Toxic exposure can occur in a variety of settings, with the liable parties changing from place to place.

When someone suffers as a result of toxic exposure, it’s important to trace back that exposure to the liable party. In many cases, it can be difficult to do so without the help of an attorney. Potentially liable parties include:

  • Property owners: If the exposure occurred at home it is possible that a property owner, landlord, or even a construction company could be liable. Homes and apartments are required to meet certain standards, including being free of certain toxins such as lead paint and black mold.
  • Pharmaceutical companies: Pharmaceutical or drug companies are another common perpetrator in toxic exposure cases; when a medicine is dispensed to patients and later discovered to contain harmful chemicals resulting in serious injuries, the injured parties may be able to seek recovery from the company responsible.
  • Consumer product manufacturers: Like pharmaceuticals, consumer products found to be contaminated with toxins like lead, asbestos, or another dangerous substance open up liability for the manufacturer. In the event that a product exposes one or more consumers to a toxic substance, the injured party may be able to file against the manufacturer.
  • Employers: Employers are another commonly liable party in toxic exposure claims; whenever a job involves working around or using toxic chemicals or substances, the employer is required to provide adequate personal protective equipment and protocols to keep their workers safe; if an employer fails to do so resulting in toxic exposure of an employee, the worker could have a toxic exposure claim in addition to workers’ compensation.
  • Military: The military has historically been a prominent defendant in toxic exposure claims, as active-duty servicemembers, Veterans, and their families have been known to be particularly exposed both in military housing and as a result of chemicals used on-duty.

If you or a loved one are suffering from some kind of toxic exposure, it’s important to contact a toxic exposure attorney right away. Medical bills and lost wages are just part of the damages a family can suffer in this situation, not to mention pain and suffering and other damages. To learn more about what constitutes toxic exposure, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a toxic exposure lawyer sooner rather than later.

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