Wherever coal is burned to create energy, there is coal ash. This is the result of the coal burning process. It is toxic and contains various hazardous substances like arsenic and lead. Needless to say, coal-burning plants should dispose of coal ash properly.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some people are exposed to this toxic substance. Coal ash is sometimes referred to as fly ash when winds carry the particles into communities near coal plants.
Because coal ash contains dangerous toxins, people who live or have lived near coal ash dumping sites could be at higher risk of certain conditions such as the following.
- developmental delays or birth defects.
- kidney problems.
- heart problems.
- neurological disorders.
- reproductive problems.
- and, respiratory illnesses like asthma.
Other health conditions may be related to fly ash and coal ash exposure whether through airborne or waterborne exposure to the toxins.
How Coal Ash Affects Communities
Coal-burning plants often dump coal ash into pits or ponds near the facility. This can be dangerous for nearby residents, especially if the facility does not have adequate safety measures to prevent the fly ash from entering communities or drinking water.
If the pond where the coal-burning plant dumps the coal ash is unlined, then the toxins may leach into ground water. If you have a well for drinking water in your home, then you might be at risk of ingesting toxins from the coal ash pond near the coal plant. Further, fly ash hazardous waste can disperse through the winds and nearby residents might inhale it.
That’s why it’s so important for coal-burning plants to secure coal ash to prevent it from affecting residents who live near the plant.
What To Do If Affected by Fly Ash
If you live, or have lived, in an area surrounding a coal power plant, or you believe you have been exposed to coal ash or fly ash, speak to your doctor. If you are experiencing medical symptoms, make sure your doctor screens you to determine if toxins from coal ash has affected your health.
A medical screening to determine if your health has been affected by fly ash may consist of the following.
- chest x-ray.
- spirometry test (a lung function test).
- routine urine test.
- blood tests.
- a physical examination.
Meanwhile, speak with a lawyer about your legal options. You may have grounds to file a claim against a company responsible for contaminating the community. You may have to establish that the company was negligent in disposing of coal ash and that it affected you by causing serious health complications.
Your claim must also establish the damages you suffered. This could include medical expenses and any costs of long-term care related to your condition. If you experienced reduced earning capacity as a result of the condition, your attorney can help you evaluate the effects of fly ash exposure and resultant health complications on your ability to work.
Pain and suffering and other damages may be recoverable depending on the circumstances of your case, which an attorney can help you evaluate.
Consult an Attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates about a Fly Ash Hazardous Waste Claim
Because of the complex nature of environmental toxic substance litigation, such as that involving coal ash or fly ash, consult an attorney about your case and ability to file a claim. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a lawyer. We will review your case to help you figure out your legal options to recover compensation for your damages.