Toxic exposure claims are tricky, because exposure may occur and symptoms may appear over a long period of time, so it can be a challenge to connect an injury or condition to the toxin that caused it. Toxic exposure might include injuries caused lead poisoning, asbestos, contaminated groundwater, toxic mold, medical devices, prescription medications, hazardous chemicals in the workplace or other substances.
Symptoms from Toxic Exposure
So how do you know if you or someone you love might have experienced toxic exposure in the workplace or elsewhere? Symptoms may be anywhere from mild to severe and include the following:
- Skin irritation
- Watering, burning or irritated eyes
- Throat irritation
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and/or diarrhea
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or wheezing
- Convulsions or seizures
A person might notice symptoms immediately upon exposure, or they could take hours to develop. Sometimes symptoms go away once the exposure stops. Other times there is permanent damage or delayed health effects show up after months or years.
One-Time Toxic Exposure – Immediate Response
If you know something has happened that might have exposed you to hazardous substances, the first thing you should do is remove yourself from that environment. If there are fumes or vapors, get to fresh air right away. If liquids are on your clothing or skin, remove the clothing and flush with water. If it got in your eyes, rinse thoroughly. Then, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you think you’re probably okay and the exposure was only minor, it’s important to see a doctor for medical evaluation.
Toxic Exposure Over Time
Short-term exposure can cause immediate symptom onset, and is known as acute exposure. But sometimes exposure happens over time and victims don’t notice symptoms right away. When exposure happens over weeks, months or years, substances can build up in the body and cause long-term health effects. Long-term exposure to chemicals like benzene and asbestos, or substances like radiation can cause cancer.
Sometimes chronic toxic exposure happens at work as employees use chemicals every day on the job. At home, sometimes people use cleaning agents or are exposed to toxins in furniture, carpet or bedding. Chemicals from landfills can seep into groundwater and contaminate homes, indoor air and drinking water.
When to Talk to a Lawyer
If you suspect you or someone you love has been injured by toxic exposure to substances like lead, silica, hazardous waste, benzene or other chemicals, Monsour Law Firm attorneys can provide advice and guidance to seek the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today.