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Chemical Exposure Claims in the Texas Manufacturing Industry: A Legal Study

Posted on May 1, 2024 in

Have You Been Exposed to Toxic Chemicals at Work?

The state of Texas is home to many industries and their associated factories, including chemical manufacturing, agriculture, and oil and gas.

While the Occupational Health Surveillance (OHS) program works to protect the health of workers and communities in Texas, accidents are bound to happen at factories and plants, sometimes resulting in catastrophic injuries and illnesses. There is no shortage of ways for a manufacturing industry worker to get injured while on the job. One such way to get injured or deathly ill is the risk of chemical exposure.

Chemical exposure poses a risk not just to manufacturing industry workers but to the communities where these plants operate. Chemical exposure can happen when individuals come into contact with dangerous and toxic chemicals either in the workplace or in their environments. The Texas oil and gas industry is a significant source of chemical exposure, but they’re not the only ones capable of being responsible for chemical exposure to employees and civilians alike. In chemical manufacturing plants, workers can be exposed to a wide array of hazardous chemicals, including acids, dangerous pesticides, and solvents.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulates manufacturing industries in Texas and ensures that they comply with state and federal environmental laws. However, many argue that the TCEQ is too lenient, leading to lackluster safety standards in many Texas industries.

If you have been exposed to toxic chemicals either as a civilian or an employee of the manufacturing industry, you may have the right to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and illnesses. It is highly recommended that you work with an industrial accident lawyer local to you for legal assistance in these matters.

How Do Chemical Exposures Happen?

Dangerous and toxic chemicals can enter the body through four main methods: inhalation, ingestion, absorption, and injection.

Inhalation occurs by inhaling contaminated air directly into the lungs or mouth. Ingestion involves eating or drinking contaminated foods or drinks or touching your hands to your mouth. Absorption occurs via direct contact with the skin or eyes. Injection chemical exposure can happen because of contaminated glass punctures or contaminated syringes puncturing the skin.

Exposure to toxic chemicals can occur through environmental contamination, workplace exposure, pharmaceutical drugs, consumer products, natural disasters, lead-based paint, mold investigations, and hazardous construction materials.

Inhalation, either in the workplace or the environment, is the most common route of exposure. After a toxic chemical enters the body either through the skin, lungs, eyes, mouth, or bloodstream, it can go on to damage your internal organs. The more that enters your body, the worse the effects will be.

What Are Common Types of Chemical Exposure in the Workplace?

Workplace accidents and negligence-based industrial accidents can include the following:

  • Burns.
  • Chemical exposure or chemical leaks.
  • Electrical accidents and electrocutions.
  • Falling objects.
  • Faulty machinery and equipment.
  • Fires and explosions.
  • Forklift accidents.

Physical toxins, biological toxins, and chemical toxins are the three major categories of toxic substances in the manufacturing industry.

Common types of chemical exposure include:

  • Ammonia exposure.
  • Asbestos exposure.
  • Benzene exposure.
  • Cadmium exposure.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Chlorine exposure.
  • Hydrochloric and sulfuric acid.
  • Lead exposure.
  • Mercury exposure.
  • Toluene exposure.
  • Welding fumes exposure.

What Are Common Health Effects of Toxic Exposure in the Manufacturing Industry?

Even at lower levels of exposure, dangerous chemicals can cause irritating and life-endangering symptoms. Eye infections, respiratory irritation, and nausea are common. Higher levels of exposure or prolonged exposure can result in worse symptoms and a higher potential for death.

Common health symptoms of chemical exposures can include, but are not exclusive to, the following:

  • Blood disorders.
  • Burns.
  • Cancer.
  • Confusion and anxiety.
  • Cracked skin.
  • Damage to the nervous system.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Dizziness and feelings of intoxication.
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Infertility, birth defects, and miscarriages.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Liver damage.
  • Loss of sleep.
  • Nausea.
  • Numbness to the extremities.
  • Seizures and tremors.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • Teary eyes.
  • Uterus damage.
  • Vision loss.
  • And death.

Do You Have a Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawsuit?

If you have been injured or made sick because of exposure to a toxic substance, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and recover financial compensation. Depending on how the chemical exposure occurred, personal injury attorneys may pursue a variety of different legal options.

Your attorneys may file a personal injury lawsuit if you have been exposed to dangerous chemicals due to someone else’s negligence. If you were exposed to hazardous chemicals while on the job at a manufacturing plant, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. You could also file a toxic tort claim with other injured parties. You may consider a product liability claim if a defective product or faulty equipment caused the chemical exposure. You may also consider environmental lawsuits if environmental laws are violated.

To ensure that you have a valid case, we encourage you to contact our Houston law office to schedule your free case evaluation today.

What Are Toxic Tort Claims?

A toxic tort claim is a lawsuit that can be filed against an entity that exposes individuals to dangerous substances.

Many toxic tort claims are filed by injured or sickened individuals who worked in the manufacturing industry and handled toxic substances in their day-to-day employment. Some toxic tort claims can be filed if you have been exposed to dangerous chemicals in the home or in the environment. Additionally, toxic tort claims may be possible if there has been a chemical spill, fracking-related issues, or other circumstances where toxic chemicals and poisons have contaminated property.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for workplace injuries in Texas is usually two years from the date of the injury or chemical exposure. If you wait too long to file your personal injury claim, you may forfeit your right to seek a financial settlement from the at-fault party.

Can Personal Injury Lawyers Help You Seek Compensation?

With the help of personal injury lawyers, you can seek financial recovery for your injuries and illnesses. This compensation may come in the form of economic and non-economic damages.

Forms of compensation may include:

  • Past medical bills and future medical expenses.
  • Lost wages and lost income earning capacity.
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress.
  • Disability, disfigurement, and dismemberment.
  • Lost quality of life.
  • Wrongful death.

Contact Us 24/7 to Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation

Our personal injury law firm has years of experience representing clients in complex personal injury cases, including chemical exposure cases. To discuss your legal issues in more detail, please get in touch with our Houston-based law offices to schedule your free initial consultation today at 713-470-9714.