Effective April 22, 2024, we are relocating our Wilmington, Delaware office to the following New Castle location:

10 Corporate Circle, Suite 301
New Castle, DE 19720


What Are the Different Types of Chemical Exposure?

Contact a New Castle Environmental lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. for More Information

There are numerous ways to become exposed to chemicals, either on the job or in daily life. You may be entitled to financial compensation if a third party is to blame for any chemical-related injuries. First, you should understand the various types of chemical exposure that could injure you.

Before you can seek financial compensation for chemical exposure, you need to understand exactly how and when you were exposed. It helps to know the different ways of chemical exposure so you can track down the source and take legal action.

There are three primary ways that you can become exposed to chemicals. These are also known as your basic exposure pathways. They are:

  • Inhalation: You can breathe in dangerous chemicals through the air.
  • Ingestion: You may ingest chemicals through something such as eating food or drinking water.
  • Skin contact: Dangerous chemicals may touch your skin, become absorbed into your body, or cause burns.


Once you breathe in chemicals, they become internalized into your body. Often, they make their way into your bloodstream, where they pass to the rest of your body. Common chemicals that can be inhaled are vapors, fumes, mists, aerosols, and fine dust. If you are on the job, your employer should supply sufficient personal protective equipment to keep you from inhaling chemicals. If you are out in public, there may be little that you can do to avoid inhalation and becoming sickened.


Ingestion can occur directly or indirectly. You may consume a substance that contains dangerous chemicals, or you can accidentally eat or drink a chemical. Since chemicals are appropriately marked, you would rarely directly ingest one. However, chemicals can taint other substances that you eat or drink. A third party could be responsible for contaminating the water supply, which has recently happened with PFAS chemicals.

The effects of ingestion often take years to manifest themselves. For example, if you have been drinking tainted water because there is a chemical, the hazardous substance may build up in your body over several years before you are sickened. Thus, it could be difficult to trace the source of a chemical that you have ingested.

Skin Contact

Chemicals can contact any part of your body. While any type of contact is dangerous, certain body parts are more vulnerable than others. For example, if chemicals touch your eyes, they can cause permanent damage to your vision.

While you may not ordinarily have a reason to come into contact with these dangerous chemicals, you could do so because of an accident. In addition, your job may involve working with hazardous chemicals. Again, your employer would need to supply you with protective equipment. At the same time, you would also need to be vigilant about your hygiene to ensure that chemicals are not on your hands.  Touching other parts of your body when hazardous chemicals are on your hands could cause numerous side effects.

In some cases, how and when you became exposed to toxic chemicals is very apparent. If someone else was negligent, you could file a lawsuit directly against them. In other cases, you may not begin to feel the effects of chemical exposure until years later. Then, you must investigate how and when you became exposed and who may have been responsible for it. An experienced environmental attorney can conduct this investigation on your behalf and file a lawsuit if necessary.

Contact a New Castle Environmental lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. for More Information

A New Castle environmental lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can represent you if dangerous chemicals have injured you. If you can prove that your exposure was wrongful and resulted from someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. The first step is to call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in New Castle and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.