Exposure to toxic chemicals and materials can do severe and long-term damage to any person who ingests them. We often talk about asbestos exposure on this blog, but the truth is that asbestos is just one of many harmful chemicals that can do irreparable damage to a person’s health.
A grim reminder of this involves a man who passed away after being exposed to many different toxic chemicals while he was involved in efforts to clean up coal ash. A lawsuit filed by his widow and his brother alleges that the man was exposed to mercury, asbestos and arsenic because the safety contractor on site misled workers about the risks of the ash and prohibited the use of safety equipment.
Reports indicate that the man’s family is seeking at least $18 million in damages in their lawsuit that argues negligence on the part of the safety contractor. Among the allegations include statements that the contractor told workers the ash was safe enough for workers to drink a glass of it every day without consequence. It is also alleged that the contractor forbade respirators on the job and destroyed masks that could have been worn to protect workers.
Two of the most dangerous factors in terms of asbestos exposure are ignorance and misinformation. These two things can play significant roles in cidences where people are put at risk of breathing in toxic chemicals.
For many years, people didn’t know how dangerous asbestos could be if people breathed it in. Unfortunately, even after the link between asbestos and illnesses like mesothelioma was established, people still choose to ignore or downplay the risks of exposure. In some cases, people even lie about the presence of asbestos or its toxic qualities. For too many people, this lack of or misleading information contributes to a serious illness and untimely death.
If you have lost someone as a result of an illness caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, it can be wise to explore your legal options with the help of an attorney.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, “$18 million lawsuit filed over coal-ash worker’s death,” Bob Fowler, Aug. 24, 2015