Many of us are exposed to harmful chemicals in our line of work on a daily basis, which may cause severe injury, illness or even death in the long run. But how does one prove chemical exposure and causation? There’s no easy answer to the question, as chemical exposure is one of the hardest things to prove unless you have some professionals backing you up.
Many of us are exposed to harmful chemicals which may cause severe injury, illness or even death. But how does one prove chemical exposure and causation?
What Is Chemical Exposure?
Chemical exposure is the load of chemicals you come into contact with and the frequency you are exposed to said chemicals every day. Some chemicals are harmful to your health while others are not. But even inoffensive chemicals may make a person sick if they are sensitive or they are overexposed to them for a long enough period.
Chemical exposure can make somebody sick especially if they have to deal with chemicals for a living. Toxic chemicals may cause asthma, lung disease, skin irritation, skin disease, infertility, allergies and a host of other occupational diseases covered under workers’ comp laws.
How Do You Prove Chemical Exposure?
A chemical may get you sick but that largely depends on the type of chemical, the amount of chemical you’ve been exposed to, exposure frequency, type of exposure, and your health. The most obvious sign that you’ve been exposed to a chemical is a strong odor or visible vapors released into the air.
However, not all chemicals with a strong odor are also toxic, and not all toxic chemicals have a bad odor or leave visible airborne traces. So, in order to be able to prove chemical exposure, you first need to learn about the type of chemical you are exposed to and its action on your body.
You can get sick because of chemical exposure if you ingest, breathe in, or touch a harmful chemical. Usually, chemical exposure needs time to get you sick.
The most common signs and symptoms of chemical exposure include:
- Burning of the eyes, blurred vision, or suddenly tearing up if a liquid chemical or chemical vapor reaches the eyes.
- Nose, throat, chest irritation, difficulty in breathing, and burning sensation if you’ve inhaled the chemical.
- Skin irritation, eczema, allergic reactions if you absorbed the chemical through the skin.
- Headaches, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, sweating if you’ve inhaled or ingested the chemical.
- Sudden bouts of anxiety and mood swings if exposed to some very toxic chemicals
- Wheezing, fainting, coughing, vomiting, convulsions, and death in the most severe cases.
Proving chemical exposure when seeking compensation for your injuries or failing health is usually harder than proving other types of work-related injuries such as bone fractures or burns. What’s more, many of the symptoms of exposure to a toxic chemical may be mistaken for other conditions.
You can get sick because of chemical exposure if you ingest, breathe in, or touch a harmful chemical.
If chemical exposure has caused you cancer such as asbestos overexposure in your line of work, it is very hard to prove that the lung cancer was directly triggered by asbestos especially if you’re also a smoker. The same goes for lead exposure. It is very tricky to prove that the decrease in your liver function was caused by the harmful chemical instead of your hectic lifestyle.
Your best defense is your medical history. Dig into your medical records to find tell-tale signs and symptoms of chemical exposure, especially if those signs appeared after you’ve started working in the hazardous environment. But since correlation does not imply causation, you could make your case stronger by bringing forth studies and other type of research that prove a causal link between exposure to a certain chemical and your symptoms or illness.
Also, getting in touch with a seasoned team of class action lawyers could lend more weight to your case as a law professional could look for similar lawsuits against the party your suing for compensation, which may sway the judges over to your side.
Proving that chemical exposure in your line of work has made you sick is a complicated endeavor as the signs, symptoms, and bad outcomes can be easily mistaken for something else. Your best bets are your medical records and a dedicated team of personal injury attorneys that have successfully handled similar cases.
If you believe that your current injuries or ill health is due to chemical exposure and need compensation, know that a lawyer who explains complicated legal concepts in plain English is only a phone call away and you can book your free consultation today.
Top Photo Credit: Sergio Rodriguez on Unsplash
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