Portland Toxic Chemical Injury Attorneys and Claims

It may come as something of a surprise to many people, but Oregon employees working with toxic chemicals have been proven to be working with unacceptable risks for many years. Portland toxic chemical injury attorneys have frequently been called upon to represent people who have been seriously affected by an unacceptable level of toxic risks that occur in a huge range of work places, from construction sites to hospital wards.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, more than 32 million American workers have been exposed to as many as 650,000 different chemicals, any one of which can be hazardous to the health of those working with them. That’s more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce, and the total number of workplaces in which these chemicals have been found exceeds a staggering 3 million sites.

Toxic Chemical Injuries at Work

An alarming number of work environments use toxic chemicals in their day to day operations, and often, the workers who are exposed to what are effectively poisonous substances have no idea of the risks they face on a daily basis. But a Portland toxic chemical injury attorney needs to be aware of these dangerous substances. To name but a few, sites where there are workers exposed to hazardous chemical products include:

  • Manufacturing operations. These can include factories and mills, such as textile manufacturers, oil refineries, office supplies businesses, electronics manufacturers, the tobacco industry and plastics companies. These places use such chemicals as:
    • Asbestos
    • Benzene
    • Formaldehyde
    • Lead
    • Ozone
    • Pesticides
    • Toluene
    • Manganese
  • The construction industry. More than 9 million American workers are employed in this field, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, painters and welders. Chemicals used directly in this industry, or which may be released during construction include:
    • Arsenic preservatives
    • Solvents
    • Lead coatings
    • Asbestos
    • Formaldehyde
    • PCB’s
    • Silica dust from concrete, masonry, sandstone, rock, paint plaster and shingles
    • Diesel fumes
  • Auto shops. Mechanics, repair workers and painters are often exposed to:
    • Toxic paint additives
    • Solvents
    • Isocynates
    • Antifreeze
    • Diesel and gas fumes
    • Brake or clutch dust containing asbestos
  • Shipyard workers, of which there are many in the Pacific Northwest, frequently face exposure to such hazardous materials as:
    • Chromium
    • Copper
    • Nickel
    • Lead
    • Engine oil
    • Antifreeze
    • Heavy metals
    • Solvents
    • Asbestos
  • Beauty salonemployees also handle potentially hazardous chemicals, including:
    • Benzene (used in nail care products)
    • Formaldehyde (a known carcinogen)
    • Acetone
    • Ethyl acetate
    • Fiberglass
    • Titanium dioxide
    • Toluene
    • Hair dye chemicals
    • Latex dust if gloves are used to protect the skin from chemicals
  • Dental offices are important for dental health, but the dangerous compounds used on a daily basis in most dental offices include:
    • Beryllium, which is used to make crowns and bridges, is a known carcinogen.
    • Heavy metals and organic solvents, both of which can cause reproductive health issues
    • Sterilizing substances
    • Anesthetic gases
    • Cobalt (used in dental drills)
    • Adhesives
    • Latex dust if gloves are used
  • Hospital workersare exposed to a surprisingly high level of toxic chemicals, including:
    • Industrial strength cleaning products
    • Mercury (used in thermometers)
    • Chemicals used to sterilize equipment
    • Formaldehyde (used to preserve tissue samples)
    • Anesthetic gases, which may leak during operations
    • Hazardous drugs which must be handled on a daily basis
    • Latex dust
  • Offices and storespose a surprising level of risk to employees. Some common toxic substances found in virtually every office include:
    • Air pollutants from new furniture
    • Fumes from cleaning products
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Pesticides used on surrounding grounds
    • Ozone produced by older-model photocopiers
    • Toxic dust from defective printer cartridges

Unsuspecting employees working with toxic chemicals can often experience skin allergies, respiratory problems or much, much worse.  Portland toxic chemical injury attorneys have frequently launched lawsuits for clients who developed blood disorders, reproductive difficulties and even cancer that was caused by the toxic substances an employee was faced to either work with, or come in contact with, every day they reported for work.

These cases are difficult and complex, and they expose the employer to wide ranging and potentially damaging litigation, but the fact is employees have the right to be protected from these dangerous elements. Personal protective equipment, appropriate training and reduced exposure to hazardous elements are just some of the ways employers can help protect their employees. Sadly, these preventative measures are often lacking or are non-existent, so the employers can be held liable by a Portland toxic chemical injury attorney for damages.

If you’ve suffered the ill effects of exposure to toxic chemicals in an Oregon workplace, you have the right to be compensated, but you will need help fighting your case. Contact a team of experienced and dedicated Portland toxic chemical injury attorneys who will guide you through the process, explain all your options, and help you get the compensation you will need to help you recover.