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Chemical and Toxin Exposure in Everyday Products

How vulnerable are we in our homes and workplaces? Why is this the case, and which products are the most dangerous? These are just a couple of the questions we’ll explore.

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Chemical and Toxin Exposure in Everyday Products

  1. 1. CHEMICAL AND TOXIN EXPOSURE IN EVERYDAY PRODUCTS How vulnerable are we in our homes and workplaces?
  2. 2. EVER-PRESENT DANGERS How toxic is your home? This is a question that many consumers never ask themselves. Aside from the more obvious hazards, such as lead or asbestos, public awareness about the use of dangerous chemicals is surprisingly low, even though so many household products - from makeup to children’s toys - contain chemicals that pose a threat to our health. Why is this the case, and which products are the most dangerous? These are just a couple of the questions we’ll explore in pages ahead…
  3. 3. PRODUCTS AREN’T ALWAYS SCREENED FOR SAFETY Consumers might assume that there is a system in place to ensure the safety of the products we buy, but this is not entirely true. As the New York Times reported in 2015, most products make it onto the shelves of stores, and eventually into our homes and workplaces, without being scrutinized for their potential impact on our health.
  4. 4. WHY ARE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS USED SO OFTEN? Just like many other powerful sectors in our country, the chemical lobby wields great influence. In 2014, the chemical lobby spent over $120,000 per member of Congress to obtain a listening ear. It is in the best interest of chemical manufacturers to ensure that their products are not subjected to regulation and removed from the market. Thus, our system is often slow to identify and remove dangerous products from stores. Let’s look at some examples…
  5. 5. AN EXAMPLE OF DANGEROUS PRODUCTS IN THE HOME: PESTICIDES Around half of all pesticides are organophosphate pesticides, a dangerous chemical that can cause damage to the respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular systems. Roundup, one of the most popular weed-killing products used across the United States, contains glyphosate, which can cause many serious health problems—particularly Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  6. 6. MORE DANGERS IN THE HOME Phthalates are used in certain types of flooring, wall covering, shampoos, conditioners, hair and body sprays, perfumes, soap, nail polish, shower curtains, IV bags and food packaging, among several other products. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers is used as flame retardant in products such as televisions, computers, children's toys and baby pillows. Other dangerous toxins around the home include:  Water contaminated by fracking operations  Air polluted by power plants  Release of hazardous materials from truck or train collisions  Mold  Fire retardants in furniture or carpeting  Lead paint  Asbestos
  7. 7. AN EXAMPLE OF DANGEROUS PRODUCTS IN THE WORKPLACE: BENZENE Benzene is a colorless or light yellow chemical derived from petroleum and coal, and it is frequently used in the rubber industry, gasoline-related industries, oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe manufacturing and coal refineries. Long term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause cancer, and might result in the following conditions:  Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma  Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)  Aplastic Anemia  Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  8. 8. MORE DANGERS IN THE WORKPLACE Maritime workers, miners, construction and demolition tradesmen, factory workers, plumbers and even nail salon techs may be exposed to dangerous substances such as:  Dust  Solvents  Heavy metals  Oil spills  Chlorine  Formaldehyde  Carbon monoxide  Acetates  Silica  Asbestos
  9. 9. COMMON INJURIES FROM CHEMICAL EXPOSURE When we are exposed to dangerous toxins and chemicals, we can suffer both short-term and long-term consequences. Here are just a few examples:  Respiratory illnesses  Birth defects  Reproductive problems  Loss of motor skills  Organ damage (liver, brain, kidneys)  Lung diseases like mesothelioma  Nerve damage  Autism  Cancers, including leukemia
  10. 10. WHO IS AT FAULT? Determining fault in these cases can be complex. It often depends on the setting in which the exposure took place and the source of the toxin. For example, if a worker is exposed to a dangerous chemical, it could be the fault of the worker’s employer or the company that sold the chemical. If a tenant was exposed to mold or lead in a rented living space, it could be the negligence of the landlord that led to the exposure. A manufacturer might be negligent if their products caused consumers harm.
  11. 11. HOW WE CAN HELP If your illness stems from exposure to dangerous chemicals or toxins, Steven H. Heisler can help. He will investigate your case to find out who was at fault and what action you can take to receive compensation. Steven has helped clients receive payment to cover the costs of medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to chemical exposure. Contact Steven H. Heisler today to learn more about your options.