Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a colorless or blue liquid chemical compound used as an industrial solvent. It is commonly used to process food items, such as decaffeinating coffee, extracting vegetable oils, and preparing flavoring extracts. It is also used to remove grease.
TCE is a known carcinogen. Exposure to TCE can come from inhalation and contact with contaminated water or soil. TCE has a number of health effects that range from short-term to potentially permanent. Exposure affects the central nervous system and has similar symptoms to alcohol intoxication, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. While symptoms will subside after exposure, long-term, repeated exposure to TCE can cause fatigue, memory loss, depression, and poor coordination. TCE can also damage facial nerves, cause loss of senses, and irritate the eyes, throat, nose, and skin. TCE can cause damage in the major organs, including the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs. Additionally, TCE exposure may be linked to cancer.
Anyone who has been exposed to TCE may commence what is called a toxic tort action or toxic tort litigation in state or federal courts, as appropriate. In toxic tort litigation, it is alleged that an individual has become harmed as a result of exposure to toxic mold. Lawsuits are filed as a result of actual personal injuries, fear or future injury, or property damage related to exposure to a potentially toxic substance. Exposure occurs at certain concentrations for certain periods of time. In cases that involve medical monitoring of health effects, litigation may be necessary in order to insure that exposed persons’ medical bills are paid, that they are reimbursed for damages (including out of pocket costs), personal injury, and—where warranted—punitive damages. Exposed persons must be able to rely on experienced legal counsel to protect their rights. In addition to personal injury claims, lawyers representing individuals harmed by TCE must also consider issues such as vapor intrusion and property diminution. Vapor intrusion occurs when solvents such as TCE are released through cracks in the foundation and fill the living space of victims exposing them to these chemicals. Exposed persons must be able to rely on experienced legal counsel to protect their rights.
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