Causes and Risk Factors

When and how is someone at risk to develop injury or disease from toxic substances? Prolonged toxic exposure occurs most frequently in the workplace, where people spend the majority of their time. In fact, most of our clients are victims of workplace toxic chemical exposure. But occasionally, exposure can also happen in the home—especially for those who live near a contaminated site or have family members in a high-risk industry. And in some cases, as with those who suffer from Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), the damage may occur after a single severe incident.

How Does Exposure Occur

Harmful chemicals enter our bodies through four possible routes:

  • Absorption. Sometimes hazardous substances may enter the body through contact with the skin.
  • Inhalation. The most common route of entry is breathing in the toxins, which is partially why so many resulting diseases affect the lungs.
  • Ingestion. Contaminated food and drink may cause toxic exposure through the digestive tract. Likewise, small particles in the air may enter through the mouth and be swallowed.
  • Injection. In rarer cases, toxic exposure may occur when a contaminated object pierces the skin.

Common Substances That Put People At Risk

There are literally hundreds of chemical compounds that can make a person sick, but some of these chemicals are more common than others. While not a comprehensive list, you may be at greater risk for contracting cancer or another toxin-related disease if you are regularly exposed to any of the following:

  • Benzene. This harmful chemical is found in gasoline, petroleum products, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust pesticides, lubricants, dyes, detergents and other substances. If you are exposed to benzene long-term (more than a year), you could be at higher risk for cancer, leukemia, aplastic anemia and other illnesses.  The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood and immune system.
  • Beryllium. A metal element associated with lung cancer and other diseases when particles are inhaled, beryllium is used in industries such as fluorescent lamp manufacturing, nuclear power facilities, aerospace, machine shops and ceramics.
  • Diacetyl. A chemical used in the butter flavorings of microwave popcorn, caramel and other foods, diacetyl is associated with several lung diseases, most commonly bronchiolitis obliterans (also known as “popcorn lung.” Diacetyl has also been recently identified in the juice of e-cigarettes.
  • Talcum powder. Prior to 1970, talcum powder was infused with asbestos. If you used talc extensively prior to this year, you may be at risk for mesothelioma. Although talcum powder today is asbestos-free, some studies have linked use of talc with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Call the Madeksho Law Firm

If you or someone you love has become ill due to toxic chemical exposure, the Madeksho Law Firm can help you get justice and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For a FREE consultation, call us at 1-888-910-6376 or contact us here. There is never a fee unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.