An injury from chemical exposure often depends upon the chemical that the accident victim was exposed to. Chemicals and toxic substances may be found at home, on the job, in school or in products frequently used. Therefore, exposure to chemicals can occur at any time. Many times, the exposure to the chemicals is over a period of time and the onset of symptoms can be very gradual and slow in developing.
Exposure to substances such as zinc, lead, mercury and arsenic affect all of the body's working organs. These substances usually stay within the body for long periods of time due to their slow release. People may be exposed to these substances in a variety of ways. For example, lead based paint is often the culprit for children with lead poisoning. Lead was commonly used in paint before the 1960's. As the paint chips, children are exposed and sometimes eat the chipped paint. Plumbers and steel manufacturers may be exposed to these substances during their workday. Accident victims with exposure to these substances could exhibit a variety of symptoms. They complain of nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, shortness of breath, and abnormal heart rhythms. If the exposure was directly to the skin or eyes, burns could be sustained. Children who have a long-term exposure to lead are at a greater risk for developing hyperactivity and mental retardation. With significant exposure, a person may fall into a coma or develop seizures.
Acids (such as hydrochloric and nitric acid, found in car batteries, toilet cleaners and drain cleaners) and alkalines (such as sodium ammonium hydroxide, found in fertilizers and drain cleaners) can result in severe burns with exposure. These substances can result in severe breakdown of the tissue it is exposed to. This includes the stomach if accidentally swallowed or eyes with splashes. Injured persons with exposure to acids or alkalines will complain of pain, burns, blisters, difficulty breathing and various other symptoms dependent upon the exposure. Exposure to the eyes could lead to blindness.
Hydrocarbons, (i.e. gasoline, kerosene, paint thinners and furniture polish) are another substance that people may have exposure to. Injured persons with exposure to these substances may complain of coughing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, seizures or burns to the area of contact. They may also have abnormal heart rhythms.
It is impossible to name all of the substances and chemicals one may be exposed to throughout the day. It is very important to seek immediate medical attention should you or a family member have exposure to the known chemical. Delaying treatment could result in permanent damage or death. If you are suffering from symptoms or an unknown illness, be prepared to tell your physician about any substances you may have been in contact with, either at home or on the job.
Always get prompt medical attention for yourself or anyone suffering a chemical injury. If you, a friend, or loved one have wrongfully suffered from a chemical injury, you ask why, and take immediate steps to protect your or their legal interest. Consider the suggestions in our accident guide, and call us immediately. We are here to help. At Larry King, P.C., we recognize the unique issues pertaining accident victims. You can call us at 757-209-2265 seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can now contact us on this web site. We are committed to doing the extra things it takes to help our clients.