With the growth of industrial facilities, more and more chemicals are being released into the atmosphere every year. In recent studies, it was reported that millions of pounds of hazardous chemicals are released by chemical plants across the country. Not only are most of these plants located near cities, flourishing neighborhoods, and growing schools, but they are also filled with large numbers of our nation's workers. This means even the smallest accident or unintentional emission of chemicals may expose hundreds of workers to toxic chemicals.
The Dangers of Chemical Exposure
Sadly, chemical plant accidents are an everyday concern for thousands of American workers. Studies show that nearly 100,000 deaths are caused by toxic exposure every year, which includes prolonged exposure. Unfortunately, exposure can be a silent threat for a long period of time. In some cases, it takes workers years to realize the extent of the exposure and damage. It can be difficult to detect toxic exposure in the workplace, especially when the environment is filled with a variety of chemicals and dangerous machinery.
There are a wide range of chemicals that when released at a plant, pose a threat to the health of people in close proximity. Chlorine gas, benzene, and anhydrous ammonia have made recent headlines for toxic chemical accidents. In just 15 years, there have been approximately 1,000 accidents at chemical facilities that deal with anhydrous ammonia alone—resulting in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries and hospitalizations.
Have you been involved in a chemical accident?
Even if a worker believes he or she came out clean from a chemical plant accident, there is a high risk that he or she was still exposed. For this reason, it is crucial that anyone involved in a chemical plant accident seek medical attention right away. Though it can be difficult to detect exposure, medical tests and labs now make it more possible to identify threats. Chemicals can seep into clothing and skin, and poison air quality for an extended period of time before being noticed. While some accidents are obvious—resulting in large explosions or fires—others are more silent. Just because there was no explosion or news article coverage does not mean that an accident did not occur at a chemical plant. Prolonged exposure to leaking gas or chemicals can potentially be more detrimental than acute exposure in obvious accidents. Regardless of the circumstances of an accident, it is highly important that any workers who are concerned about toxic exposure seek legal counsel right away.
If you have been in a serious chemical accident or worked in a chemical plant and are now suffering from leukemia, cancer, anemia, or another type of disease, Arnold & Itkin is here to help. Our firm is committed to protecting workers from negligent employees and negative health care effects that exposure can cause.