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Pittsburgh Personal Injury LawyerThere are numerous situations where people may be placed at risk of exposure to toxic substances while working. The Pittsburgh area has many steel mills, industrial plants, and other workplaces where toxic chemicals and other dangerous substances are used. When the proper safety procedures are not followed, or when accidents occur, workers can be seriously injured. People may also experience occupational illnesses due to ongoing exposure to low levels of toxic substances. These injuries and illnesses can be very serious, and those who have been injured will need to understand their options for receiving compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Types of Occupational Diseases Caused by Toxic Substances

Dangerous chemicals and other substances can harm workers in a variety of ways, including:

  • Firefighters and others who work around fire and smoke may experience heart and lung disease due to smoke inhalation.

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Pittsburgh Asbestos Poisoning LawyerCancer caused by asbestos exposure is a serious health issue. While most people are aware of the risks of asbestos exposure in substances such as older building materials, they may not realize the potential dangers when using common consumer products. In recent years, concerns have been raised about the presence of asbestos in talc-based baby powder products, including those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Fortunately, victims of asbestos-related cancer may be able to pursue compensation from a company that failed to ensure that its products were safe to use. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other forms of cancer due to toxic substance exposure, it is important to know your rights and understand your options.

What Is Asbestos? 

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was commonly used in building materials such as insulation and multiple other types of products between the 1940s and 1970s. It has been linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases, and most manufacturers have taken steps to ensure that their products are free of this substance. However, talc and asbestos are similar minerals that are often found together when they are mined, and because of this, baby powder composed of talc may have been contaminated with asbestos. In response to these concerns, Johnson & Johnson has stopped selling talc-based baby powder in the United States, and it will cease sales of this type of baby powder throughout the rest of the world in 2023. The discontinued products have been replaced with baby powder that is composed of corn starch.

Users of baby powder products may have been exposed to asbestos, breathed it into their lungs, or absorbed it through other parts of their bodies. Some users of baby powder believe that conditions such as lung cancer and ovarian cancer were caused by asbestos, and they have taken legal action to pursue compensation for the harm they have suffered.

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Pittsburg Toxic Tort LawyerEven though the steel industry is a vital and necessary part of the American economy, steel mills can be a major source of environmental pollution. If you live near a steel mill, you may be at risk of exposure to harmful pollutants. These pollutants can have a variety of negative health effects. If you or a loved one has been affected by pollution from a steel mill, an experienced environmental exposure attorney can help you pursue compensation.

Types of Pollutants From Steel Mills

Steel mills release a variety of pollutants into the air, water, and soil. These pollutants can include:

  • Heavy metals - Toxic substances such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, zinc, and copper are released when coal is burned to produce energy for steel mills and at other times during the steel manufacturing process. In many cases, "inversion" occurs in which heavy metals in air pollutants settle into the soil. This has been a significant issue in the areas around Pittsburgh due to the region's long history of steel production. Heavy metals can damage the nervous system and cause cancer. They can also build up in the food chain, resulting in health problems for people who eat contaminated fish or other animals.

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Allegheny County Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyers

Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas that is used in a variety of industrial processes. It is most commonly used to sterilize medical equipment and other items, although it may have other purposes as well. Unfortunately, exposure to ethylene oxide can result in serious health effects. This is a significant concern to workers in facilities that use toxic chemicals, but due to the release of ethylene oxide into the atmosphere, people in the surrounding communities may be affected as well. This has become a major health issue in many communities throughout the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has specifically noted that people living near facilities in Zelienople and Erie, Pennsylvania may be at risk. 

The Dangers of Ethylene Oxide Exposure

Ethylene oxide is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This means that exposure to ethylene oxide can increase the risk of developing cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia.

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