Frequently Asked Questions
What is a toxic tort?
A toxic tort is a legal term that refers to a wrongful act (or omission) that exposes someone or something to a noxious chemical or substance. The harm can be in the form of personal injury, which can range from minor illness to cancer, or even death. Fear of future injury is another form of harm that can necessitate medical monitoring. Property can likewise be negatively impacted by a toxic substance or chemical. This can result in the loss of use of property, diminution in property value, and occasionally a need to remediate the affected property by removing soil or treating groundwater.
What should I do if a chemical exposure has made me sick?
People exposed to industrial chemicals may be entitled to legal relief. In general, those who use and store industrial chemicals have a responsibility to ensure that these materials are handled in a safe and appropriate manner. When this does not occur, and hazardous substances are released into the environment, these materials can adversely affect nearby workers and residents. At certain levels, exposure to industrial chemical can make people ill. People who have been exposed often require competent legal representation to ensure that all of their needs are protected and that they can receive whatever treatment and medical monitoring may be appropriate under the circumstances.
Is mold harmful?
This can be a complicated question and requires more than a one-sentence answer. For reasons that scientists are trying to understand right now, some people are more vulnerable to becoming ill when exposed to certain kinds mold. The illnesses that one can develop from mold exposure range from mild respiratory discomfort to severe neurological impairment. The Toxic Injury Lawyers have seen clients with varying symptoms and some people’s lives have unfortunately been ruined by mold exposure.
Is living near a gasoline station dangerous?
Many gasoline or automobile service stations are safely operated and pose no significant risk to neighbors or the community. Problems may arise when a gasoline station has a leak in its underground storage tanks, piping, or dispensing systems, or when the station is improperly managed. In those cases, gasoline can be released into the groundwater or into the air. Some chemicals found in gasoline are known to cause physical injury or even cancer. The two primary risks with a leaking gas station are drinking water contamination and vapor intrusion, where chemicals can enter the indoor air of buildings from beneath the surface.
What is benzene and is it safe?
Benzene is an industrial chemical that has a wide range of industrial uses. Many people are exposed to benzene at work and at home. Benzene is found in many petrochemicals, including gasoline. At certain concentrations, benzene can be absorbed into the body and may result in illness. Benzene has been associated with serious illnesses, including cancer.
Is dry cleaning a dangerous business?
The great majority of dry cleaners use industrial solvents for the purpose of cleaning the clothes. Dry cleaning relies on a chemical called PCE to remove dirt from clothing. PCE is associated with the increased risk of some illnesses and cancers. However, by no means is it true that everyone who works with dry cleaning or who brings home freshly dry cleaned clothes is going to become ill. Rather, exposure often results from dry cleaning establishments that leak PCE into the environment, causing drinking water contamination or vapor intrusion. PCE may cause illness when there is lengthy exposure at high levels of concentration. You can learn more about PCE exposure here.
What is TCE and can it harm me?
TCE is one of the most commonly used industrial cleaners found at many sites in industrialized states like New Jersey. While it has many applications, it is frequently used to remove oil from metal parts. It is part of a class of chemicals called chlorinated solvents. TCE is particularly problematic when it enters the groundwater or makes its way to a drinking water supply. It is difficult to eliminate from the environment. Exposure to TCE is associated with increase in certain illnesses. Read more about TCE exposure.
Is air pollution still a problem in New Jersey?
One of the first nationwide environmental initiatives in the United States concerned air pollution. In the 1960s, the scientific community started to note that many factories were emitting contamination into the air that were degrading air quality and making people ill. While tremendous progress has been made, air quality is still a concern in New Jersey. While there is a larger level of legal compliance, there are still many operations that can pose health risks to their surrounding community.
Is there a chromium problem in Northern New Jersey?
Chromium is a chemical element that can take on many forms. While there are several forms of chromium that are found in industrial application, the most dangerous is hexavalent chromium. This material is extremely dangerous and harmful to building foundations. When a building is impacted by chromium, a green hue may emanate from the impacted structure, and buckling or bowing may occur. When people are exposed to chromium, it targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin, and eyes. Over the years, many sites impacted by chromium in northern New Jersey (particularly Hudson County) have been detected. It is still a concern and could harm people in close proximity to these sites.
Should I be concerned about Coal Tar in my neighborhood?
Coal tar is the byproduct of the coal gasification process. Before the advent of intercontinental gas lines, natural gas was locally produced throughout the United States, including in New Jersey. A byproduct of this process is called “coal tar,” which tends to be black/brown sticky material resembling roofing material. It contains many chemicals, including phenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that can be dangerous to human health at certain levels of exposure.