The pervasive use of chemical cleaning agents in homes and workplaces can lead to debilitating disabilities and the development of many forms of cancer. Individuals who have been exposed to chemical cleaning agents can suffer long-term consequences that can include memory loss, loss of mobility, diminished quality of life, and even death.
Chemical cleaning agents are all around and include cleaning solvents, paint thinners/removers, degreasers, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, pesticides, etc. When used for off-label purposes, in direct contradiction to instructions, or without proper safety protocols and protective equipment, these chemicals can pose a significant danger to those who use them and those who are exposed to them.
Inhalation injuries are common because many cleaning agents are dispersed via pressurized aerosol or spray nozzles. Even once settled, chemical cleaning agents continue to emit vapors that can waft through the air. Inhalation of chemicals like Ammonia, Chlorine, Phthalates, Triclosan, and 2-Butoxyethanol can cause permanent damage to the lining of the lungs, the esophagus, and the nasal cavity. Prolonged or repeated exposure to these chemicals may also lead to the development of cancers and can cause irreparable neurological damage. Scientific studies have indicated that there may be links between chemical exposures and the development of conditions including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Migraines, and Multiple Schlerosis.
Products that contain acids such as Sodium Hypochlorite, Calcium Hypochlorite, Nitric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonia, and many others can cause chemical burns to the skin and can be fatal if swallowed. Chemical burns can lead to permanent loss of sensation and may even make it possible for secondary infections to set in while the burn heals.
Liability for the personal injuries caused by chemical exposures can fall on the individual who applied the chemical, such as the cleaning company that utilized the chemical. The product manufacturer can also be held liable for utilizing unsafe chemicals or producing defective application equipment. An employer who knowingly allowed the cleaning chemicals to be used in areas where employees would be exposed to them can sometimes be liable as well.
A personal injury attorney in Illinois can help determine who is liable and can pursue damages for medical treatment, long-term care expenses, disability, and disfigurement resulting from the exposure lost income, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering.