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What Are the Negative Health Effects of Pollution From Steel Mills?

Posted on in Toxic Exposure

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.

  • Sulfur dioxide - This chemical is produced when sulfur-containing materials are used in the steel-making process. This pollutant can cause respiratory problems, especially in children and the elderly, and it can also aggravate people's existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. People who suffer from diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis are likely to be especially affected. Regulators have noted that people in the Pittsburgh area are especially likely to be affected by this form of pollution.

  • Particulate matter - Steel plants regularly release tiny particles of soot, dust, and other materials. These particles can embed themselves in people's lungs or enter the bloodstream. This pollutant can cause respiratory problems, including irritation of the lungs and airways, leading to difficulty breathing or persistent coughing. People may also experience issues such as heart disease, lung cancer, and strokes. Exposure to particulate matter can also worsen existing medical conditions like asthma and emphysema.

If you live near a steel mill, it is important to monitor your health closely and see a doctor if you develop any new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse. You may also be entitled to compensation if you have been injured by pollution from a steel mill. 

Contact Our Pittsburgh Steel Mill Pollution Injury Lawyers

Living near a steel mill puts you at risk for exposure to harmful pollutants that can cause serious health problems like respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and cancer. If you or a loved one has been harmed by pollution from a steel mill, an experienced environmental attorney can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. At Colianni & Colianni, LLC, we can help you gather evidence and build a strong case to show that you suffered harm due to pollution that was released into your community. You should not have to suffer because of someone else's negligence, and our experienced Allegheny County environmental exposure attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 412-680-7877 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21092022/toxic-metals-soil-pittsburgh-pennsylvania-steel/

https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2019/01/09/residents-near-pittsburgh-issued-air-warning-because-of-pollution-from-us-steel-plant/

https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm

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