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Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyers in Arizona

Toxic chemical exposure lawyers Arizona

Toxic exposure is a risk for anyone who works with or near dangerous chemicals. Federal laws require employers to meet safety standards to lessen the threat of serious or fatal injuries in these environments. Yet the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that chemical exposure still kills 50,000 American workers annually. Another 190,000 others suffer injuries or are diagnosed with job-related diseases.  

Arizona law allows employees to apply for workers’ compensation benefits after suffering injuries from chemical exposure. These benefits provide crucial financial support to employees until they can return to work. But sometimes, employers or their insurance companies deny valid workers’ comp requests. Cases involving toxic exposure often need substantial scientific evidence and expert testimony to reach a successful resolution. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help. 

The attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group are dedicated to protecting and enforcing the rights of hardworking Arizona employees. We’re called the rock for injured and disabled workers for a reason. We stand firm in demanding the full and fair workers’ comp payments that every worker deserves. 

Firm founder Matt Fendon is board-certified as a specialist in workers’ compensation law by the State Bar of Arizona. His knowledge and leadership guide our team in delivering top-quality legal services to our clients. Learn more about how we can help in a free consultation. Call or contact us today. 

High-Risk Jobs for Exposure to Toxic Substances 

Some occupations place workers at a higher risk for chemical exposure than others. Performing physical jobs around fumes, dust, chemicals, and fibers increases the risk of developing illnesses associated with toxic substances. But even office workers are at risk of chemical exposure if poor ventilation puts them in contact with dangerous materials. 

Chemical exposure commonly affects workers in industries such as: 

  • Construction
  • Oil and gas
  • Manufacturing
  • Semiconductor and electronics manufacturing 
  • Mining
  • Welding
  • Farming
  • Landscaping
  • Industrial cleaning
  • Laboratories
  • Firefighting
  • Asbestos mitigation 
  • Mechanics
  • Swimming pool maintenance
  • Shipyards
  • Automakers
  • Automotive parts
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textiles
  • Nail salons

Toxic exposure can result from an acute event, like an explosion, or from workplace exposures that happen over time. Similarly, the injuries from an exposure may appear immediately or take decades to develop. 

What are Some of the Most Dangerous Toxic Chemicals?

Numerous state, federal and global agencies monitor the effects of toxic chemicals on human health. According to OSHA, a toxic chemical is any substance that poses a health or physical hazard to others.

Here’s a list of some of the most harmful chemicals found in the workplace: 

  • Lead – Primarily used in manufacturing, lead is also found in paint in buildings and furniture built before 1978, construction materials, roofing materials, plumbing, brass and bronze fixtures, rechargeable batteries, lead bullets, and radiators.
  • Arsenic – Used in many industries, arsenic can be found in paints, wood preservatives, glass production, and electronics. 
  • Benzene – A chemical used to make lubricants, rubber, detergents, drugs, and pesticides, high levels of benzene exposure can affect the blood and damage the immune system.   
  • Zinc – Metalworking, rubber manufacturing, drug manufacturing, welding, and other jobs where employees inhale zinc oxide fumes can cause “metal fume fever,” a flu-like illness. 
  • Toluene – A clear, colorless liquid used in paints, varnishes, nail polish, rust preventatives, printing inks, glues, and adhesives, toluene can irritate the skin and eyes. Long-term exposure is linked to damage to the female reproductive system.  
  • Pesticides – The use of pesticides and herbicides has been linked to certain forms of cancer, particularly among landscapers, farmers, and agricultural employees.
  • Chromium – Steelworkers, service workers, cement workers, printers, painters, and workers exposed to tanning dyes are at risk of toxic exposure to hexavalent chromium, a substance associated with respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer.
  • Mercury – Used to manufacture thermometers, barometers, automotive parts, and medical equipment, mercury can cause skin and eye irritation, chest pain, breathing difficulty, weight loss, and other problems. 

If you believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation for toxic injuries, an attorney from Matt Fendon Law Group can help prepare your application and submit it to the Industrial Commission of Arizona. 

Injuries and Consequences of Toxic Exposure  

The severity of a toxic exposure depends on the substance, how much you were exposed to, and how long the exposure lasted. 

Chemical exposure can result in a wide range of symptoms and injuries, including: 

  • Burns
  • Fevers
  • Skin, eye, and throat irritation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Respiratory problems
  • Digestive illnesses
  • Neurological damage
  • Reproductive problems
  • Birth defects
  • Circulatory system damage
  • Rashes 
  • Blindness
  • Cancer (e.g., mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, brain and bladder cancer in firefighters and police officers) 

Employees who suffer from occupational injuries or diseases should notify their employers right away. In Arizona, workers have one year from the date of the injury or its discovery to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. 

Types of Compensation Available for Toxic Chemical Injuries at Work

To obtain workers’ compensation for a job injury, you must provide evidence that the injury occurred while you were performing work-related duties. Proving this point can be more challenging in toxic exposure cases, where the injury or illness may not manifest for years after the exposure. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue benefits such as: 

Obtaining Help from an Arizona Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyer

The good news about a workers’ compensation case is that workers are entitled to benefits no matter who is responsible for the injury. In other words, you don’t have to prove that your toxic exposure injury is your employer’s fault. You just have to show that the injury or illness is linked to your job. 

Though it sounds simple enough, toxic exposure cases can get complicated. The symptoms of many common illnesses are similar to exposure to certain chemicals. You’ll need to confirm that the chemical was in your workspace, document when your symptoms started, and get a medical provider to conclude that your health condition results from exposure to the substance. That’s a big job for someone recovering from a serious injury. 

The toxic chemical exposure lawyers at Matt Fendon Law Group can help. Our legal team will gather the evidence needed to build a persuasive claim on your behalf. Call or contact us today for a free consultation. 

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