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Toxic Chemical Birth Defect Lawsuits
By Jane Mundy
If you have suffered the tragedy of having a child with birth defects or infant/childhood cancer, a child who is still under the age of twenty, and the birth mother worked with possible toxic chemicals and solvents during her pregnancy, the time to take action is now or your options could be severely limited.
Various chemicals have been indicted as cancer and mutagenic promoting agents, creating changes in cell structure and corrupting the process of cell division and resulting in debilitating and often fatal mutations. Mutagens interfere with the normal development of cellular structure in the embryo and fetus, producing a high rate of miscarriages and birth defects. Basically, cancer causing and mutagenic cells are substances that are intrinsically involved in the development of infant cancers and birth defects.
Cancer and Mutagenic Promoting Agents
Chemicals of this nature are considered hazardous materials and OSHA has strict guidelines as to what amount of exposure to such material any worker can legally be exposed to in the course of their work. Unfortunately, in many cases these guidelines allow for much greater exposure than most environmental laws allow, laws based on clearly established empirical evidence to protect human health.
For example, in the State of California they developed Proposition 65, setting health based limits for exposure to certain chemicals in air and water. These regulations call for maximum concentrations of these chemicals that would allow for no more than one additional case of cancer per million people exposed to the chemical in a lifetime. It is a highly regarded and stringent standard to attain.
OSHA on the other hand allows for exposure to the very same chemicals in the workplace at concentrations that are often thousands of times higher than limits imposed by laws like California's Proposition 65.
Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Methylene Chloride, Epichlorohydrin, and perchloroethylene are industrial chemicals that have been utilized in America for many years. There is no doubt scientifically that these are carcinogens, cancer causing agents. Yet the difference in how OSHA regulates these chemicals in the workplace, compared to the environmental laws designed to truly protect people is nothing less than astonishing.
Under current OSHA regulations a worker can be consistently exposed to Benzene in the amount of 1 PPM (one part per million). This is one thousand times the amount in current environmental protection laws!
OSHA states that the allowable maximum concentration for exposure to Methylene Chloride is 25 ppm, which is only 25,000 times greater than the current accepted health standards! The same can be shown for each of these hazardous chemicals, established and respected health standards that are thousands of times stricter than what OSHA currently allows any worker to be exposed to.
In essence, the American worker is exposed to hazardous chemicals on a day-to-day basis that are thousands of times stronger than what has been proven scientifically to be safe or are allowed by environmental and health regulations for the general public.
Yet, because of the structure of the worker's compensation system, employers are in effect partially from liability in court from cancers that were most likely induced by repeated exposure to high concentrations of known carcinogens. It is completely legal for an employer to expose a worker to OSHA approved levels of hazardous chemicals, proven carcinogens and mutagens, even if such exposure is thousands of times more than allowed by other laws.
In some states, when a worker is injured by chemicals they can bring a workers compensation claim to bear, but it will usually only cover medical bills and low end disability payments.
So while workers recoveries tend to be very limited, this is not the case for children who are exposed to such chemicals in utero, while they were being carried by their mothers.
Children with birth defects whose parents were workers exposed to these kinds of chemicals have successfully filed lawsuits against their parent's employers for full compensation and the opportunity to have their case heard by a jury. They are entitled to actual and compensatory damages in most cases.
However, in most states the statute of limitations begins when the injured child turns eighteen, and they become and adult. So using the state of California for example, the statute of limitations for this kind of case is two years, so the victim must file suit before their 20th birthday. This is the same for many other states, but it also varies in some states.
If you or your child have suffered birth defects, and you/they are under the age of twenty, and the defect(s) are likely due to exposure of the birth mother to hazardous chemicals in the course of her employment while pregnant, please complete the form below and an attorney will review your information in consideration of a potential legal action.
Chemical Birth Defect Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Published on Jul-8-16
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Greg Marsh, Chemist/Exposure Scientist
Don't forget gasoline from Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs), which car travel many miles, infiltrating the buildings above its plume. And worse yet, how State health departments will evade their responsibility to inform and protect as here in Colorado.
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