Vinyl Chloride Exposure
Vinyl chloride exposure can cause serious health effects, including cancer and death. If you were exposed to vinyl chloride and cancer or other serious illness developed as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact lawyers at Watts Guerra now.
What is Vinyl Chloride?
Vinyl chloride is a very toxic chemical. It is a colorless gas primarily used in making polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and vinyl products including PVC pipe, plastic kitchenware, wire and cable coating, and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is also in furniture and vehicle upholstery. The chemical was also used as an aerosol propellant in the past.
Vinyl Chloride Health Effects
Vinyl chloride can cause cancer, including a rare form of liver cancer called angiosarcoma of the liver. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, workers exposed to the carcinogen over a period of time have an increased risk of liver, brain, lung and other types of cancer.
Prolonged vinyl chloride exposure may also:
- cause nerve damage
- change your immune system
- affect organs including liver, kidneys and spleen
- increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects
- damage male sperm-producing organs
Inhaling vinyl chloride can cause dizziness and sleepiness. You could pass out. Breathing a high level can cause death.
Some workers exposed to high levels of the chemical develop vinyl chloride disease, recognized by Raynaud's phenomenon (fingers turn white, feel numb, yet hurt when cold), muscle and joint pain, fingertip bone erosion, and changes in the skin.
How Vinyl Chloride Exposure Occurs
Exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride generally occurs in the workplace, although that is not the only way you might become dangerously exposed. Exposure can occur by breathing the chemical in the air, consuming it in contaminated food or water, or absorbing it through the skin.
You could be at risk of exposure if you work in or live near an industrial facility that manufactures or processes vinyl chloride, or a landfill or a hazardous waste site. Workers involved with the transportation, storage and disposal of vinyl chloride are at risk of exposure.
New vehicles can release vinyl chloride gas into the air. If your vehicle has that new car smell and you regularly climb in it on a hot day to drive for an hour or two, you could be exposed to vinyl chloride.
Groundwater and drinking water contamination could also be sources for vinyl chloride exposure. If your water supply is contaminated you might be breathing it in the air, consuming it through food and drink, and absorbing it through your skin.
Compensation for Vinyl Chloride Exposure
If you believe vinyl chloride exposure caused you or a loved one harm, contact lawyers at Watts Guerra. You can count on our experienced toxic exposure injury attorneys to help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve.