Silica Dust Exposure May be Linked to Rheumatic Diseases
Exposure to silica dust, even at low levels, can result in certain types of rheumatic diseases, according to a new study from researchers at the Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. The study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in mid-April, contained data that was collected from the Danish labor force from 1979 to 2015 and involved 1,541,505 men and 1,470,769 women. The report indicates that exposure to silica dust is linked to an increased risk of autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Silica dust is released when flint, sandstone, granite, and concrete are ground up or otherwise processed. Exposure to this toxic dust happens most often in construction or factory settings. Small particles in the dust can cause damage if it is inhaled. The dust can accumulate in the lungs and cause inflammation that causes an immune system response.
Rheumatic diseases are a class of medical conditions that cause chronic pain and stiffness in the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. There are hundreds of types of rheumatic disorders. For the purposes of the study, researchers focused on certain specific conditions, including:
- Systemic sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lupus erythematosus
- Small vessel vasculitis
What Did the Study Reveal?
The study found that as exposure levels to dangerous silica dust increased, so did the risk of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Those with the highest exposure levels were 1.5 times more likely to suffer from these conditions than people with no significant silica exposure. Out of the participants involved in the analysis, 17,000 people were diagnosed with the autoimmune diseases of interest to the study researchers. When researchers looked closer at this afflicted subset of participants, they found that a significant portion of them had held jobs that regularly exposed them to silica dust.
The data also showed that a total of 1,490 people had experienced workplace exposures. Specifically, systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis were the conditions that appeared most often in the study data.
One of the researchers, a professor at Aarhus University and Aarhus Hospital, pointed out that the study accounted for variables that might have otherwise influenced the results. The professor stated that the researchers controlled for the participants who smoked tobacco, a factor that could have accounted for some of the negative health outcomes. The professor also called attention to the fact that the occupational exposure limit for silica dust is twice as high in Denmark and Europe as it is in the United States.
Researchers plan to look into whether exposure to silica dust impacts the development of antibodies for autoimmune rheumatic diseases. They are hopeful that the link they discovered might confirm the causal relationship between silica dust exposure and the rheumatic conditions, and that further research will help them better understand the causal mechanisms involved.
The study was executed by researchers affiliated with Aarhus University, the Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, the Department of Rheumatology, Gothenburg University in Sweden, and Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
What Should I Do After Silica Dust Exposure?
Whether the case is brought on behalf of a single injured person or on behalf of a group of similarly aggrieved litigants, a toxic tort lawsuit can be filed against a specific liable party in an effort to prove a case for monetary damages. This type of legal action can be taken against a defendant, such as a business owner who negligently exposed several workers to a dangerous breathable toxin that resulted in serious injuries or illnesses. Another type of lawsuit that seeks damages for a silica injury might be a products liability case in which a plaintiff or class action group sues a product manufacturer for their injuries from a silica product.
In the above example of the class action suit against an employer, a claim of negligence may be based on the plaintiffs’ allegation that the employer was careless when it allowed its workers to be exposed to dangerous levels of silica while they were working. For a case involving products liability, a plaintiff or group of plaintiffs might claim that a manufacturer did not list adequate warnings on the packaging for a product containing toxic silica.
In many of these cases for damages related to silica exposure, plaintiffs may be bringing suit against liable defendants many years or decades after their exposure. Part of proving the case depends on the ability to prove that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangers and neglected to take the necessary steps to prevent their injuries. For help with starting a claim, a victim should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help People Hurt by Silica Dust Exposure
Silica dust exposure can cause health complications. If you developed a severe injury or illnesses, such as a rheumatic disease, as a result of an exposure to silica dust, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit against the liable party. The Wilmington toxic tort lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will work tirelessly on your behalf to protect your rights. For more information and a free consultation, call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form today. We are conveniently located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
How can I Reduce Exposure to Toxic Silica Dust?
Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a natural mineral compound that can be in a crystalline or non-crystalline form. Many construction materials have silica, like stone, drywall, cement, asphalt, brick, and concrete. Those who work in these fields as well as other industries, like agriculture, ceramics, paint and soap manufacturing, and shipbuilding and mining, may be exposed to crystalline silica dust while on the job.
When it is left undisturbed, crystalline silica is not dangerous; however, when it is disrupted, toxic particles can be created, which can get into the lungs. One estimate claims that one million construction workers are exposed to toxic levels of silica dust.
How Dangerous is Silica Dust?
Small amounts of fine silica dust is enough to be hazardous. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the construction industry and has specific rules that apply to this toxic material. The OSHA states that employers must keep work exposures at or below the permissible exposure limit (PEL). It is not unusual for construction companies to violate OSHA regulations, though. Chipping, cutting, drilling, grinding, and blasting materials that have silica in them may create toxic silica dust that rises above the PEL.
In 1996, crystalline silica was discovered to be a carcinogen. Inhaling toxic silica dust is known to cause serious and fatal illnesses, including silicosis. Silicosis develops after toxic silica dust has entered the lungs over long periods of time. It may cause scars as well as hardening of the lung tissues. Early symptoms include chronic coughing, fever, and a shortness of breath. The disease affects people differently, depending on their state of health and amount and length of exposure. It is not curable, but can be treated with medication, and in serious cases, oxygen treatments or lung transplants. In some cases, silicosis can be fatal. Other diseases linked to toxic silica dust include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Renal disease
- Lung cancer
- Other cancers
Can I File a Silica Dust Lawsuit?
There have been individual silica lawsuits filed by one injured person, and class action silica lawsuits involving groups of people against the same defendants. One example of the latter would be a number of constructions workers vs. the quarry company that employs them.
Some silica cases focus on products liability, which is when a plaintiff alleges that a product they used contained silica and was hazardous. They would also need evidence to show that the manufacturer did not have adequate instructions or warnings regarding safe use for the product. The manufacturer as well as the distributor could be sued.
Other silica lawsuits revolve around unsafe exposure. A group of injured workers could allege that the employer was careless and allowed the workers to become exposed to toxic amounts of silica dust. The plaintiffs would need to prove the employer’s negligence. They may be able to show that the employer failed to establish safety precautions or did not follow the OSHA guidelines.
If a person believes they were exposed to silica dust, they should meet with a lawyer to discuss their environmental toxic tort case.
Are There Ways to Reduce My Exposure?
Some companies have taken the initiative to find ways to reduce employee silica exposure. Some organizations have also taken strides to correct the problem, including the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association, trade groups, universities, and state agencies. The OSHA requires companies to train their employees about working with silica; limited access to areas with high exposure and medical exams are also part of the standard.
A post on Construction Pros mentioned the use of vacuum lifting systems, which can be used instead of jackhammers and drills for maneuvering concrete slabs. This method can also be used in place of hammers, shackles, and anchors to cut concrete with no drills needed. Vacuum systems are also able to keep the large slabs in one piece.
The OSHA also recommends that some tools be fitted with dust collection systems and shrouds. Water systems are another way to control silica dust. According to the agency, slurry that results from wet cutting has to be cleaned appropriately in order to stop it from drying up and releasing silica dust. This can be done with shovels and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuums.
What Else can I Do to Protect Myself?
One way to reduce exposure to silica dust is to decrease the amount of time working around it. Although some companies feel this is their decision to make, they still need to conform to OSHA regulations. It is best to have a job-specific silica dust exposure control plan in writing. It can include details about the training as well as the handling and cleanup protocols.
A control plan can mirror OSHA’s guidelines. For example, there is a section which applies to handheld power saws. The recommended work practices include using saws that have integrated water delivery systems. An integrated water delivery system continuously feeds water to the saw blade, which can significantly reduce the amount of dust. Some employers also provide respiratory equipment.
Employees who feel that their company is not taking the proper measures to protect them from silica dust exposure should not hesitate to reach out to their supervisors or Human Resources (HR) department. In some cases, the OSHA will come by to inspect the premises.
Delaware Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Protect Victims Against Dangerous Levels of Silica Dust
If you feel that your health is being compromised by hazardous levels of silica dust, speak to a Delaware toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Can I File a Toxic Tort Claim for Dangerous Silica Dust Exposure?
Individuals who have been exposed to crystalline silica dust are at risk for serious health issues. This toxic dust is used extensively in many industries and consumer products, despite its dangerous consequences. A victim who becomes sick after inhaling silica dust can sue for damages suffered as a result of their exposure.
What is Crystalline Silica Dust?
Crystalline silica is a naturally occurring mineral found in the ground. Used in common stone and building materials in many construction applications, crystalline silica is present in stone, rock, concrete, mortar, and sand. It is found in natural stone, and it is used in the production of artificial stone and bricks, as well as ceramics, pottery, and glass.
Crystalline silica dust is produced when these products are broken down by grinding, drilling, cutting, or crushing. This includes the pulverization of natural sources, like stone, rocks, and sand, as well as man-made materials, such as concrete, brick, and mortar. When these materials are disturbed, they release toxic microscopic particles that float through the air.
How can a Person be Harmed by Crystalline Silica Dust?
The vast majority of harmful exposures occur in work settings. Employees that work for construction firms or in factories that manufacture products that contain crystalline silica are at the highest risk. However, people living in the vicinity of these worksites or industrial plants can also become exposed and develop health conditions. Likewise, consumers who use silica-containing products are also at risk.
Among the most serious health issues caused by exposure to crystalline silica dust are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. Exposure can also cause silicosis, which is inflammation and scarring in the lungs that can cause permanent disability and death.
How can a Victim Seek Fair Compensation After Exposure?
A person who has gotten sick as a result of a toxic exposure to silica dust has the right to file an environmental toxic tort, which is a legal claim to damages. In silica dust exposure cases, negligence can exist on the part of a careless employer or in a products liability claim. The claimant has a right to sue the negligent party for monetary damages. In some states, however, the person suffering from exposure-related health complications may not be able to take legal action unless their health is affected to a significant degree. To determine if one is able to pursue a lawsuit, it is essential to contact a lawyer right away.
Delaware Environmental Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Clients Suffering Illnesses After Crystalline Silica Dust Exposure
If you developed an illness as a result of crystalline silica dust, you may have a case against those responsible for your exposure. You should discuss your case with one of our Delaware environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Our legal team helps clients recover compensation after being exposed to dangerous levels of silica dust. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Amazon May be Responsible for Third-Party Defective Products
Recently, it was ruled that Amazon could be held liable for defective products after an item that was purchased on their website seriously injured a woman. A court deemed that the online retailer company might be held responsible for what happened to the woman.
The woman purchased a laptop battery from a third-party seller on Amazon’s Marketplace. The battery caught fire, and she suffered third-degree burns. This decision may set a new precedent that could hold Amazon responsible going forward if third-party products bought on their website are defective.
How Did the Injury Occur?
The woman claimed that she purchased a replacement battery for her laptop. The third-party company shipped her battery, and a few months after she received it, it exploded. According to her testimony, she did not receive any notifications about safety problems with the product.
Amazon initially fought back, claiming the company was not liable because the product was manufactured and sold by a Chinese company. The plaintiff argued that the battery was fulfilled by Amazon, and it was in Amazon’s possession in one of its warehouses. A lower court had ruled on this case in 2019, and Amazon was not covered under products liability law. The plaintiff appealed, claiming that strict liability did not just depend upon whether or not a sale was actually made.
Third-Parties on Amazon’s Online Marketplace
Online retailers have seen their sales soar in the past decade, especially since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started. Amazon also sponsors millions of third-party companies. These sellers make up close to 60 percent of Amazon’s e-commerce sales, but this has also led to the sales of more unsafe, expired, and counterfeit goods.
Even though Amazon has stated that they make significant investments to ensure that all the products sold on their website are safe, they have maintained that they are just a channel between buyers and sellers. The retail giant also claimed that they do not get involved with their third-party seller’s sourcing or distribution activities. Up until now, this and other defenses have shielded them from liability.
Recent Cases Against Amazon
A 2018 lawsuit against Amazon alleged that a purchased hoverboard was faulty and exploded, which resulted in the consumer’s house being burnt down. Amazon prevailed in this case after it was ruled that the outside merchant who used Amazon to sell the hoverboard was responsible. In their defense, Amazon also stated that the company is classified as a publisher rather than a seller. By doing this, they may have avoided responsibility for the defective product in this case. In making their decision, the court claimed that Amazon was akin to a newspaper’s classified advertising section. Newspapers are not held liable for claims made in their classified ads.
In 2018, a defective vape battery started a fire that led to more than $400,000 in damages to the buyer’s home. Their homeowner’s insurance company filed a lawsuit against Amazon. Amazon argued that they did not design, build, or sell the batteries, citing protections under the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Amazon won this case as well, but there are still ongoing products liability cases against them in different courts across the United States.
How Do Third-Party Vendors Work with Amazon?
Third-party vendors show their names on Amazon’s product pages. Some are well-known retailers, but there are many smaller companies and individual third-party sellers as well. To be designated as a professional seller, the vendor must obtain a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy. This requires the insurance to have at least one million dollars of coverage per incident for bodily injury, property damage, and general liability. These third-party sellers are grouped together and referred to as the Amazon Marketplace, but the listings still appear along with other products that Amazon sells. Buyers will see a line of text that indicates that Amazon is not the actual seller, though.
Amazon also works with many subsidiary companies that sell on their website. They also own a large group of private label brands and own brick-and-mortar stores.
What are the Future Implications?
For this case, Amazon argued that since it was only part of the distribution chain for the faulty battery, it should not be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. The court determined that even if this were the case, they still played an integral role in getting the product from the company to the consumer. Under strict liability principles, they claimed that the company should be held liable for defective products sold through their site.
The August 2020 appeal states that Amazon could not be protected from liability by the CDA. Instituted in the 1990s, the CDA was put in place to shield online platforms from liability for any content posted on their websites by users.
This recent ruling could change how responsible Amazon will be for their third-party vendors’ products in the coming days. The plaintiff hailed the ruling as a major decision and said that other courts can use it in making future determinations on similar cases.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Defective Product?
If a consumer is injured by a defective product, they can pursue legal action against the company that is responsible. Different companies can be held liable for dangerous products, so it is important to contact a lawyer who will determine which parties are responsible. A lawyer will protect the rights of their client and help them obtain compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
Wilmington Products Liability Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Provide Effective Legal Representation to Clients with Products Liability Cases
When you buy a product from an online retailer, you trust that it will be safe and work as it should. However, some companies sell defective goods that can cause harm. Our trusted Wilmington products liability lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. protect the rights of clients injured by dangerous products. We will get you the compensation that you deserve. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
What is a Product Recall Plan?
When a product is found to be defective or dangerous, the manufacturer often issues a recall. A producer on the market has a legal duty to handle unanticipated dangers in a responsible and forthright manner. Responsible companies should formulate plans to obtain consumer information regarding the recently revealed dangers in order to issue proper recalls.
A product recall is an action taken by a company that informs consumers of an imperfection in their product that may impact its effectiveness or present previously unknown dangers. Usually, a product recall is initiated on the part of the manufacturer or producer in an attempt to protect customers. Sometimes, however, the companies involved may be pressured into issuing a recall by government entities.
Can a Company Prepare for a Recall Ahead of Time?
An organization that makes product safety a priority will implement elements of consumer protection throughout the design, manufacturing, and testing stages. If a consumer goods company finds the need to issue a recall, however, many steps need to take place to remove the product from markets.
First, the company should prepare for a possible recall well ahead of time by keeping records of sales. This important information should be collected for all distribution channels as well as for end users. Ideally, a registration form will be included in a product’s packaging to a costumer. This provides an easy way for a customer to share their contact information in case there is a warranty issue or a recall.
When customers cannot be contacted directly, public notifications should be used to provide information about the recall. The company should be forthcoming with all information about the problems of the product and what customers can do to rectify the situation. The company aiming to remove a defective or dangerous product from the market should have a plan to offer a replacement or refund to affected customers.
What if a Part is Manufactured by a Different Company?
Some companies that recall their products recognize and report defects because of parts that were acquired by separate companies. The parts supplier may issue a related recall of their own. The two companies may work in tandem to address the consumer safety issues to achieve success.
An online notice on the company’s main website is recommended, as well as notices on the sites of distributors and other partners. Follow-up notices may be necessary to ensure that information about the recall reaches as many distributors and users as possible.
What are the Costs Associated with a Product Recall?
An organization that recognizes the need to issue a product recall will likely consider the costs associated with the removal. Typically, a company that produces consumer goods will have an insurance policy to protect against monetary losses due to product recalls, such as the costs for mailings and public postings.
The manufacturer may have legal costs related to claims against component suppliers that bear liability for the recall. Likewise, costs for legal counsel are inevitable if the company requires a defense team to fend off allegations of its own neglect. The organization may also spend money on a public relations specialist to manage public messaging and company image.
Some costs of the company may be more than monetary. The organization risks its reputation if it mishandles a consumer recall. Any resulting media press can reduce public trust in the company, affecting the business long after the recall is over.
What are Some Potential Benefits for a Well-Executed Product Recall?
The redirection of company resources and the potential costs to public image can be hard for a company to combat. However, handing the situation effectively can present a valuable opportunity to eliminate potential harm to customers as well as the company.
Handling a recall respectably and successfully can have a positive impact. A proper recall plan can lessen negative views by current and prospective customers.
What Can Happen if a Company Fails to Issue a Recall?
Companies that face the choice of whether or not to issue a product recall may fear that they will diminish their reputation by admitting there is a problem with their product. However, if the company chooses to ignore the dangers of a defective product, they are putting the business and consumers at great risk.
If a company neglects to act appropriately to a serious product issue, the organization may risk serious legal problems, including charges by government prosecutors.
What Should a Consumer Do if They are Hurt by a Defective Product?
A responsible company will have an effective recall plan. It is important that companies prepare for potential issues with their products. By incorporating a recall plan, a company can reduce the risk of injuries. Additionally, a recall plan will help protect a company’s reputation.
If a consumer is hurt by a defective product, they should speak to a lawyer about filing a products liability claim. A lawyer will collect necessary evidence and protect the rights of their client. Dangerous products can cause severe, costly injuries, so it is important for a victim to obtain compensation for their financial losses.
Delaware Products Liability Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Clients Injured by Defective Products
If a company fails to have a successful recall plan, consumers will be at risk. If you were injured by a dangerous commercial product, contact one of our accomplished Delaware products liability lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. We understand that defective goods cause serious injuries, and we hold negligent companies responsible for their actions. Complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Ikea Dresser Recall
A recent USA Today article contained Ikea’s history of product safety recalls, which revealed shocking news. According to the article, six children perished over the past 10 years when Ikea dressers fell on them, and the company paid around $96 million in settlements.
The article states that another Ikea dresser was produced later, called the Kullen, which did not conform with furniture industry safety standards that were updated last August. At the time, federal safety regulators stated that the dresser could cause death or serious injury to children. Rather than taking the product off the market immediately, the company continued selling it until December 2. The product recall was not issued until March 2020.
Some dressers pose a threat for tipping over, and federal data shows that on average, one child dies every two weeks. Ikea’s dressers have stood out as being especially dangerous, with nine children dying from dressers tipping over since 1989. In 2016, the company recalled 17.3 million Malm dressers.
One mother, whose son was killed by a Malm dresser that tipped over, claimed that Ikea could have removed the dresser from their website immediately and informed store managers; not doing so put more children at risk.
Types of Defective Product Liability Claims
If a product is defective, a person can pursue a product liability claim. There are three types of product liability claims, which include:
Failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions: This is when a product is missing the appropriate instructions or warnings for product use. This generally applies to products that can be dangerous in ways not easily recognized by users. This could be seen on a child’s toy that does not provide a warning to wear protective goggles.
Defective manufacture: This category includes products that have problems due to errors that occurred while it was being manufactured. It would probably not include an entire inventory.
Defective design: This includes products that have hazardous designs. These defects do not originate in the manufacturing process but occur during the design stage.
Elements of Product Liability Cases
In order to prove liability in these cases, plaintiffs need to prove certain elements; these elements vary by state. It needs to be proven that the victim suffered losses or was injured, that the product is defective, and that the defect was the cause of the injury. It also must be shown that the product was being used as it was intended. If a dresser tipped over because a child was jumping on top of it, this would not likely qualify.
Wilmington Product Liability Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Injured by Dangerous Products
Products that pose safety threats should not be sold to consumers. If you were injured by a dangerous product, our knowledgeable Wilmington product liability lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will help. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation about your case. From our offices in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Poison Prevention Week
March 15 to the 21 is National Poison Prevention Week, an opportune time to raise awareness of how accidental poisonings occur and how to prevent them. Each year, poison centers across the United States receive more than 2 million calls, many of which involve poison exposure. Although most non-fatal poisonings happen to children younger than six years old, teenagers and adults are also at risk of poisoning accidents. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent unintentional poisonings and poison-related deaths in people of all ages.
Causes of Unintentional Poisoning
Any substance that causes harm to the body when too much is eaten, injected, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin is considered poisonous. Most poisonings occur in the home due to accidental exposure. Cosmetics and personal care items, household cleaning products, analgesics, and antidepressants are the substances most implicated in poison exposures, according to the National Capital Poison Center. Other causes of unintentional poisoning include:
- Contaminated water
- Lighter fluid
- Motor oil
- Over-the-counter medications, which account for most poisonings in pets
- Paint and paint thinner
- Prescription medications
The symptoms of poisoning vary depending on the type and amount of poisonous substance to which one is exposed; other factors that impact poison levels include age, weight, and general state of health. Poisoning symptoms typically include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry mouth or drooling
- Abdominal pain
- Rash or swollen skin
- Slowed rapid heart rate or breathing rate
If you suspect that you or someone else has been poisoned, dial 911 or call your local poison center immediately and inform them of the substance that was ingested. Acting quickly can mean the difference between life or death.
This week is a good opportunity for everyone to inspect their homes for any potentially poisonous substances and ensure that they are stored properly. Some tips to prevent unintentional poisonings include:
- Dispose of expired or unneeded medications.
- Do not mix chemicals.
- Do not refer to medicine as candy.
- Ensure that there is proper ventilation when working with paint thinners, cleaners, and other chemical solutions.
- Follow the instructions on the label, and do not take more than the recommended dose.
- Have the poison center phone number readily available in case of an accident.
- Keep foods and household products separate and in their original containers.
- Label everything.
- Store medicines and vitamins on high shelves out of children’s reach.
- Wear protective clothing when handling cleaners and chemicals.
Compensation for Poisoning
Those who were poisoned due to toxic products may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Available damages in such personal injury, product liability, or toxic tort cases generally include medical expenses, medical monitoring, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages.
Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Poisoned Victims
If you were poisoned by a toxic substance or material, contact one of our skilled Delaware personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A today. Our experienced and dedicated legal team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445. From our offices in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including those in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Regulated Asbestos Testing in Talc Products is Overdue
In early February 2020, the FDA held a panel that discussed the rising concern about asbestos in talcum powder and cosmetics that are created with talc. The public conversation centered on ways to reduce unintended consumer exposure to asbestos by improving safety measures during the manufacturing process. Although regulations already exist to stop asbestos from getting into talc, recent concerns about tainted Johnson & Johnson talc have created widespread concern over the topic.
Asbestos in Talc Products
Once used in many industries, asbestos consists of a naturally occurring mineral that has heat-resistant properties. For this reason, it was traditionally used to make items with these characteristics, like building insulations. However, asbestos fibers can be breathed in when they are released into the air, causing damage to the lungs. Once in the body, asbestos fibers can compromise lung capacity and can lead to respiratory and systemic diseases, including asbestosis, pleurisy, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
Much like asbestos, talc is also a mineral found in the ground. When crushed and processed, talc makes an excellent liquid absorber. Many cosmetics and toiletry items rely on talc to reduce body and face shine and oil, as well as lessen unwanted moisture levels and some odors. Cross-contamination between talc and traces of asbestos, which may exist in the same places and be mined concurrently, has become a growing worry among talc users and safety organizations.
How Talc is Tested
With all the concerns about talc, the testing methods used by talc-producing companies remains relatively unregulated. Most businesses that sell talc-related products police themselves, meaning the standards for examining the purity of the talc wavers. Proponents of more consistent talc testing methodologies argue that the only way to keep talc free from asbestos is with heavier regulatory guidelines.
At least one agency that promotes safety in consumer products has suggested that all items containing talc should contain a buyer warning about the potential presence of asbestos. Such warning labels are not unheard of, and proponents believe they help buyers stay informed before they use merchandise. In the meantime, no specific measures have been undertaken as a result of the February FDA forum.
Allegations of Carcinogens in Talc
Already, many lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and other companies that produce goods containing talc, including baby powder, personal hygiene body powder, and makeup.
In each lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that the use of contaminated talc led to cancer. Defendants have publicly claimed that the allegations are unfounded. Nevertheless, a 2018 report showed that Johnson & Johnson knew its talc occasionally contained amounts of asbestos and did nothing to stop the batches of contaminated talc from hitting retail shelves.
Other talc-related lawsuits are being brought forth in the courts. Personal injury lawyers across the country are watching the results carefully on behalf of future clients. Already, several cases have settled for various amounts. Consumers who have been diagnosed with lung cancer and used talc or talc-based cosmetics, may want to contact attorneys to discuss options.
Wilmington Asbestos Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Those Suffering Asbestos-Related Illnesses
If you are regularly exposed to talc and suffer an illness, you may be eligible for compensation. Asbestos testing in talc products needs to be improved in order to protect those who are consistently exposed to talcum powder. Our experienced Wilmington asbestos lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will evaluate your case and determine if you qualify for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
High Carcinogen Levels Cause Drug Recalls
Heartburn sufferers have new concerns, popular heartburn relief medications may be dangerous drugs. A group of recent recalls are causing alarm that common heartburn medications contain unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a contaminant and probable human carcinogen. Ranitidine and nizatidine are stomach acid medicines that have been recalled.
Recall Sparks Investigations
Ranitidine, commonly known as Zantac, was recalled in September by the French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi S.A., fear then began to spread to the United States. Soon after the original recall, other drug manufacturers announced additional heartburn medication recalls as well as internal investigations into the NDMA levels contained in their products.
In late September, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of 14 lots of prescription ranitidine capsules by Sandoz. That same week, over-the-counter, store-brand 75 mg and 150 mg ranitidine tablets were voluntarily recalled by Apotex Corp., which were sold at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart locations.
In October, a drug company based near Princeton, New Jersey, announced a recall of generic ranitidine, which is available over-the-counter and by prescription at retailers, such as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Target.
Most Recent Recall Announcements
Noting that no adverse reactions or specific cancer links have yet been reported, three additional recalls were announced in early January, adding weight to previous concerns as the industry addresses the seriousness of the threat to heartburn patients related to the consumption of NDMA products. The three additional recalls include the following:
- Appco Pharma: The New Jersey based drug maker recalled 150 mg and 300 mg versions of the drug.
- Denton Pharma and Northwind Pharmaceuticals: All unexpired ranitidine 150 mg and 300mg tablets were recalled and discontinued in United States distribution, pending its joint investigation with the FDA.
- Mylan: Mylan recalled three lots of 150mg and 300mg dosages of nizatidine.
Unacceptable levels of NDMA were detected in many of the recalled ranitidine products; tests conducted by the FDA showed that other manufacturers’ ranitidine products were within the daily-intake limits.
One FDA announcement compared the NDMA levels in recalled ranitidine products to levels you would expect in common foods, like grilled or smoked meats.
Additional Irritation for Heartburn Patients
The recalls have caused a shortage of other heartburn medications in some areas. Manufacturers and suppliers are attempting to keep up with new demand for alternates to the recalled ranitidine and nizatidine products.
Alternate medications include Tagamet, Pepcid, or proton-pump inhibitors. Non-prescription options include Gaviscon or antacid tablets, such as Tums. Patients can also ask their doctors if stomach medication is necessary or if dietary adjustments would better control the issue.
Delaware Product Liability Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P. A. Advocate for Consumers Hurt by Dangerous Medications
If a consumer product was found to cause harm, a drug manufacturer, distributor, or seller may be found liable for any illness that was caused by the dangerous medication. Our knowledgeable Delaware product liability lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will evaluate your case and provide you legal guidance. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we also serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.
Makeup Recall Tested Positive for Asbestos
In March 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a consumer warning concerning the possibility of asbestos found in cosmetic products sold at Claire’s Stores, Inc. and Justice. Asbestos is a carcinogen that contaminates talc, a powdery substance found in common hygiene products, such as makeup; it has been used in different industries over the years but has been outlawed in recent decades. Long term exposure to asbestos can cause several forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
Sold between October 2016 and March 2019, Claire’s Eye Shadows, Claire’s Compact Powder, and Claire’s Contour Palette have all been removed from retailer shelves. The affected products and lot numbers include:
- Claire’s Eye Shadows: Batch No/Lot No: 08/17
- Claire’s Compact Powder: Batch No/Lot No: 07/15
- Claire’s Contour Palette: Batch No/Lot No: 04/17
Any consumer who purchased these products is urged to immediately discontinue use and return the product to Claire’s for a full refund.
No Recall Issued After FDA Warning
In 2017, a concerned customer sent makeup kits sold at Claire’s to an independent testing facility where it was found positive for asbestos. Claire’s recalled nine of their makeup kits because of these results and began their own testing. The FDA also decided to get involved.
The FDA issued a warning to consumers about the presence of asbestos in products sold at Claire’s and Justice. Claire’s initially believed that the products in question were no longer sold at their stores, therefore, they did not issue a recall. After mounting pressure from the FDA and consumers, the three products that tested positive for asbestos were voluntarily recalled by Claire’s on March 12, 2019.
The FDA does not have the authority to recall cosmetic products like they do with other consumer products. Cosmetic manufacturers do not have to report ingredients or register with the FDA. However, The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2018 was introduced to Congress in September 2018 to allow the FDA to impose greater safety regulations concerning the cosmetic industry, giving them power to ban and recall products deemed unsafe for consumers. A potential investigation into the cosmetic industry by the House Oversight Committee is likely.
Claire’s Looks to the Future
Claire’s urges all consumers to return the affected products right away. They also claim that they discontinued the use of talc in all their products within the past year. In their recall announcement, Claire’s stated that it understands many parents trust them and expect them to hold the highest safety standards. To date, no adverse effects have been reported because of these products. All consumers that may be experiencing effects of the questioned products are urged to contact the FDA immediately.
Delaware Asbestos Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Fight for Those Affected by Asbestos Exposure
If you have suffered or been exposed to asbestos because of recalled cosmetic products, contact the Delaware asbestos lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. immediately. Our experienced lawyers can evaluate your claim and help fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.