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HARM FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 24 percent of all diseases, and 33 percent of diseases in children under the age of five, may be attributed to environmental exposure. Given such alarming figures, it is discernable why exposure to chemicals and toxic substances can put an individual at substantial risk.

How do toxic substances enter the body?

Common areas where toxic substances enter the body are the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Usually when a chemical enters the body it either lodges in the body—as asbestos does in the lungs—or travels through the bloodstream to internal organs. The organs most commonly affected are the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain; the nervous system and reproductive system may also be affected.

How do toxic substances harm the body?

Harm from toxic substances manifests itself in many ways. Possible scenarios may involve skin problems (e.g. dermatitis, rash, and blistering) to impaired mental development (a possible outcome of lead poising in children), to organ failure, disease, and sometimes death. Harm is not limited to exposed individuals; the offspring from such people may also suffer. For example, a pregnant woman exposed to chemicals, in the workplace, places her unborn child at risk. Birth defects, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not uncommon in the children of exposed workers.

How long does it take for symptoms to become apparent?

Effects can take place right away, for example, inhaling ammonia vapors will immediately irritate the lungs, throat, and nose. But for many individuals, it may take years, after exposure, for symptoms to appear. For example, a person exposed to asbestos may not show symptoms until 30 years after their initial exposure. This is called the latency period and will vary for every individual.

Legal remedies are available to those who have been harmed by exposure to toxic substances, including the right to recover monetary damages for permanent injuries. Damage awards take into account pain and suffering, wages lost as a result of impairment, and expenses incurred as a result of the injury. Compensation in a toxic exposure case can be substantial.

For more information, please call (800) 315-3806 or submit a confidential email inquiry.

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