Most people do not realize the lurking danger of chemical exposure. Because of poor federal protections and widespread use of chemicals in manufacturing and technology, anyone can be affected.
For instance, children in Jersey City, NJ grew up playing in and around puddles polluted with cancer-causing chromium from a nearby manufacturing plant. The spill was discovered in 1983 and still causes serious problems for the community today. Local news site NorthJersey.com recently reported on the EPA’s continued struggle to understand the size and scope of the spill.
Certainly, none of the residents near the Gulf of Mexico imagined the danger before the disastrous oil spill from the Deep Water Horizon. A recent documentary film, “The Big Fix,” revealed that wild life and humans continue to suffer illness from the spill and the toxic chemicals used to disperse the oil.
According to a group of scientists that authored a letter in Science, approximately 12,000 new chemicals are registered with the American Chemical Society every day. Although most of these chemicals never reach the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lack the proper tools to effectively assess the hazards of chemicals. As a result, dangerous substances can go into high volume production, making many ill before the danger is discovered. Instead of relying on simple toxicity tests, the FDA and EPA need tools to assess the genetic and reproductive dangers as well.
Symptoms of Chemical Exposure
In both Jersey City and the Gulf of Mexico, residents still feel the effects of chemical exposure. Many are ill and some are dying from cancer. Over time, even a brief exposure to chemicals can result in chronic respiratory difficulties, nerve damage, cardiac complications and the development of cancer and tumors in various parts of the body. Tests and treatments can minimize the effects of chemical agents on the body, but they must take place early to avoiding long-term damage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), major symptoms of toxic chemical exposure include:
- Giddiness or euphoria
- Coughing and wheezing
- Chemical burns
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Cardiac complications
- Eye pain and irritation
Symptoms of chemical exposure are not limited to this list, so if you have any unusual health problems after a potential exposure to toxic chemicals, you should seek immediate treatment.
The Importance of Rapid Diagnosis
The sooner patients seek treatment after chemical exposure, the better prognosis becomes. In some cases, doctors can administer treatments to rid the body of the chemical contagion. For respiratory, digestive and neurological symptoms, doctors can administer medications to treat symptoms. Being able to test for chemical exposure at the scene can result in faster and more thorough treatment.
If you or a loved one suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals, the window in which to file a claim against the negligent company is small. Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation to discuss your options and eligibility for compensation.