By Jonathan Herbert, Legal Executive in Chemical Poisoning and Asbestos.
Many people suffer toxic reactions to a variety of chemicals and other substances every year. Our team of specialist lawyers are here to assist if these symptoms cause injury or an inability to work.
Toxic substance exposure
There are many substances that may be injurious and poisonous to health depending upon the size of the dose. One or two aspirins are therapeutic but taking an excessive dose might kill. Some individuals may also vary in their susceptibility to toxic substances.
Symptoms of poisoning are often very specific to the toxin involved so it is necessary to review the main areas where toxic exposures occur:
- Occupational, for example asbestos and benzene.
A non-exhaustive list of hazardous substances types appears on the Health and Safety Executive
- Environmentally, for example moulds and fungus.
- Product liability, including hazardous substances, pesticides, DIY, cosmetics including hair dyes.
Exposure is typically by inhalation, or absorption through the skin. People suffer adverse reactions to chemicals and other substances in a variety of ways. Different toxins will cause different injuries, and reactions and at different times with varying intensities. Some symptoms resolve by themselves, some though will involve the respiratory system leading to shortness of breath, wheezing and asphyxiation requiring urgent medical attention. Some may experience flu-like symptoms initially with general malaise which is typical with many illnesses.
Many toxins act upon the blood or nervous system.
Reactions to cosmetic products will typically affect the face, lips, eyes, ears, and neck causing scaling redness, itching and swelling. In extreme cases, such symptoms are fatal. There may be an allergic reaction to hair dyes resulting in a swollen and “melon” shaped head.
Statistics show that more people die from diseases caused by work than are killed in industrial accidents. Reactions to chemicals and even precious metals in factories can result in the most disabling symptoms if multi-chemical sensitivity develops.
Some pesticides have been said to be responsible for a number of birth defects. There are warnings for those using them regularly to watch for vomiting, sweating, pin-point pupils, nausea, headache, weakness and dizziness.
The NHS reports that the cause of one in five of their poisoning cases is household products, including cleaning products such as bleach, caustic soda and disinfectant; cosmetics such as baby oil, shampoo and nail varnish remover; DIY products, such as paint, glue; and wallpaper paste and garden products such as weedkiller and rat poison.
Contact Thomson Snell and Passmore on 01892 510000 for more information about bringing a claim for personal injury.