The Life-Threatening Risks Of PVC Exposure
PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is a type of plastic used in millions of everyday items such as pipes, toys, carpet backing, bottles and credit cards. It has both industrial and household uses. Unfortunately, PVC can also harm people’s health. Studies have linked several health problems, including liver cancer, to PVC exposure.
How Do You Know If You Are At Risk?
When you think about PVC, you probably don’t think of it as a dust, a liquid or a gas. That is, unless you work in an industry that uses PVC. Then you may be well aware of how the dust particles can spread and how vinyl chloride can end up off-gassing from products or the liquid form of the plastic into the air. Vinyl chloride that ends up in the soil from landfills or around manufacturing sites can contaminate local drinking water sources.
Industries that use PVCs serve as a hub for contamination. The people most at risk of illness include:
- PVC manufacturing workers: These people are at increased risk because they work around PVC dust and fumes all day. Here in North Carolina, prominent chemical and plastic manufacturing companies include:
- Kao Chemicals
- MCTRON Technologies
- Workers in related industries: Many industries either use or dispose of PVCs, including oil refineries, construction, refrigeration, dry cleaners, landfills, and several types of manufacturers, such as automobiles, carpet and furniture, just to name a few.
- Residents of surrounding communities: Anyone who lives near one of these industries may be inhaling PVC dust or fumes, or consuming particles in their drinking water.
If you believe you or a loved one has a PVC-related illness, contact Wallace & Graham, P.A. at 888-698-9975 to find out what legal action you can take. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will meet with you for free to discuss your options. You may be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, or even wrongful death.
Many Diseases, One Cause
Vinyl chloride has been linked to several illnesses, including many cancers, liver problems, vinyl chloride disease, and peripheral neuropathy. Keep in mind that some of the conditions like cancer do not start manifesting for many years after initial exposure. Other conditions may come on sooner after high exposure, usually in the workplace.
Those exposed to vinyl chloride should be on the lookout for:
- Cancers: Exposure can lead to cancer of the breast, lung, brain, blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes. The most common cancers caused by vinyl chlorides, however, are liver cancers of various types, especially angiosarcoma of the liver (ASL).
- Liver problems: In addition to liver cancer, vinyl chlorides can cause liver damage such as fibrosis, which is scarring of the liver. The liver becomes enlarged and more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, another liver cancer.
- Vinyl Chloride Disease: People exposed to high levels of the toxic chemical may exhibit a group of symptoms, including Raynaud’s Phenomenon and scleroderma. These conditions cause changes to the bones and joints in fingers and a tightening of the skin so the fingers curl inward.
- Nervous system problems: High exposure can cause problems with the central nervous system, such as dizziness, fatigue and sleep problems. Exposure can also affect the peripheral nervous system by causing peripheral neuropathy, or tingling, numbness and burning in the hands and feet.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with one of these conditions and you want to find out more about the link to vinyl chlorides, contact our office at 888-698-9975 for a free consultation.
Signs Of Exposure To PVCs
You may be wondering what type of symptoms you could see due to PVC exposure. The following symptoms may indicate exposure to PVCs:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Liver enlargement or damage
- Damage to other organs, such as spleen enlargement
- Nausea and headache
- Hallucinations or disorientation
- Trouble breathing
If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away for a thorough medical exam and diagnosis. If you are not sure where to go, our office can offer guidance regarding what type of doctor you may want to look for.
Call For A Free Consultation
Our attorneys are based in Salisbury, North Carolina, but represent clients nationwide. If you think you have a PVC related claim, call today at 888-698-9975 or send an online message. We also handle mesothelioma cases related to asbestos exposure, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to Roundup exposure and ovarian cancer cases related to talcum powder.