Claims stemming from airborne toxin exposure and resultant injuries or illness can be very complicated. Although airborne toxin exposure can affect individuals and communities, in many instances, environmental health hazards are considered an occupational hazard. In either case, Long Island injury attorneys can help New York residents or workers determine the source, if negligence is a factor, and who could potentially be held liable for the exposure to a harmful environmental substance.
What are some common types of airborne environmental health hazards?
Airborne environmental health hazards come in various forms, such as dust, vapors and gases. Oftentimes these health hazards are unseen, therefore it’s not always easy to determine that they are the cause of illness.
There are different types of dusts. Examples include chemical, mineral, biohazards, metallic and organic. One type that is more commonly known to cause illness is asbestos, a fibrous kind of dust.
Vapors are another potential environmental health hazard. Some examples include toluene, benzene, pesticides and styrene. Gases are another potential hazard, and could include carbon monoxide, chlorine, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxide.
Where does airborne toxin exposure occur?
With dust, these particles can be located in any area where there is demolition, grinding, milling, drilling or crushing. Asbestos, for example, can be found in older building materials such as ceiling and floor tiles, insulation, shingles, joint compounds, wall textures, etc.
Solvents, meanwhile, are often to blame for hazardous vapors. Solvents are used in paints, inks, pesticides and glues. They are also found in products designed to dissolve grease or oil. Gases may come from welding, gasoline storage facilities, gas utility plants, manufacturing plants, and numerous other locations.
Airborne toxin exposure can occur in a variety of environments, but regardless, it’s important to seek medical consultation if illness occurs. Long Island injury attorneys can help New York residents explore legal action to recover compensation for his or her damages.
What types of illnesses are connected to airborne toxin exposure?
Airborne dust is generally connected to lung conditions or diseases. For instance, pneumoconiosis is caused by the inhalation of coal dust. This can lead to numerous complications including respiratory failure, pulmonary tuberculosis (lung infection), and cor pulmonale (failure of right side of heart). Other types of illnesses caused by airborne dust include lead-poisoning, asthma, and lung cancer.
As previously mentioned, the fibrous dust asbestos can be very hazardous. This can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural disorders such as asbestosis. Complications from mesothelioma include pain, trouble breathing and collection of fluid in the chest. Asbestosis can lead to shortness of breath, high blood pressure and thickening of lung membranes (making breathing difficult).
Vapors can cause eye, nose or throat irritation. But in toxic amounts, it could result in someone losing consciousness. Exposure to vapors can cause skin damage (dermatitis) and may even harm internal organs (resulting in long-term health problems).
Benzene exposure, for example, can lead to irregular heartbeat, headaches, loss of consciousness, and with very high levels of exposure, even death. Other serious effects include anemia, bleeding and cancer.
Harmful gases can also cause respiratory problems. It can complicate existing health conditions, such as asthma, but it can also lead to emphysema and chronic lung disease. Individuals in Long Island who experience illness or symptoms from airborne toxin exposure can contact injury attorneys in New York for help recovering damages for the effects of the exposure.
Who can be liable for illnesses caused by airborne environmental health hazards?
It can be a challenge to determine liability in an environmental claim. If the exposure occurred while at work, workers may file for workers’ compensation benefits, and could pursue a claim if a third party is established to be liable for the exposure. Potential third parties that could be held liable include an independent contractor, sub-contractor or possibly a property owner.
Those who have suffered serious illness from an environmental health hazard in the community might have a claim against a business or possibly a government entity. With so many possibilities, Long Island injury attorneys can be a good resource for New Yorkresidents exploring filing a claim.
In Long Island, injury attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates in New York can examine and help determine the viability of a claim and what types of damages might be recoverable if injured due to an airborne toxin exposure.