What Is Nitrate Water Contamination?

Nitrate contamination of surface water and groundwater is a result of the industrial food industry. Nitrate contamination happens with the overuse of fertilizer and from the array of manure produced by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where large numbers of poultry, swine, cattle, or other animals are housed and raised in enclosed spaces.

Often, nitrate contamination occurs in rural areas that are heavily dependent on well water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that thousands of community water wells and private wells surpass its maximum nitrate contaminant level. The EPA classifies nitrate as a water contagion. Infants below 6 months old who drink water containing high levels of nitrate may become severely sick.

An excess of nitrogen use in agriculture can result in nitrates seeping into groundwater. While other causes like septic systems also impact nitrate pollution in drinking water, most nitrates that contaminate groundwater are from agricultural resources. In addition, local topography and the type of soil present both affect how vulnerable a region is to groundwater pollution. 

What Health Issues Are Linked to Nitrate Contamination?

Nitrates and pesticides can lead to water contamination near industrial food operations. Bacteria, viruses, and antibiotics can seep into the drinking water supplies of neighboring communities and cause an assortment of health issues for the people who drink the contaminated water.

Symptoms include shortness of breath and “blue baby syndrome,” which is a possible fatal blood disorder. Other illnesses linked to high levels of nitrates in drinking water include thyroid disorders, gastrointestinal illnesses, birth defects, and miscarriages.

Eliminating Nitrate Contamination

Eradicating nitrate contamination is tedious and costly. Removing nitrates from drinking water is expensive, particularly in public and private systems that bank on untreated groundwater and do not have water treatment public services. There are regulations in place that address salinity, including nitrates, but it is generally agreed that a much more comprehensive approach is needed.

Nitrates may be successfully removed from water using treatment processes, such as ion exchange, distillation, and reverse osmosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Your local health department should be able to provide you with information regarding the process.

It is worth noting that heating or boiling your water will not remove nitrates. In fact, while the water will evaporate when boiled, the nitrate levels of water will slightly increase in concentration if the water is boiled. Mechanical filters or chemical disinfection, such as chlorination, will not remove nitrates from water. If you own a water well, it is best to have it tested annually after installing a treatment system.

Delaware Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Fight on Behalf of Those Sickened by Water Contamination

If you are suffering from an illness due to water contamination, contact one of our knowledgeable Delaware toxic tort lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation.

Forever Chemicals Found in Delaware Wells

It has recently been reported that manmade chemicals used in industrial manufacturing have continued to contaminate public drinking water wells in Delaware. First discovered in several wells in 2014, new testing conducted in 2019 demonstrated that the problem is more widespread than originally reported.

The chemicals are linked to cancer and other health issues. The new testing data was not reported to the public at the time of the tests, nor were the specific wells identified.

Recent Delaware Water Supply Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that testing was performed on 14 wells in and around the New Castle County Airport. All of the wells were within a seven square mile grid surrounding the airport. Out of the 14 wells, 10 were discovered to have been contaminated with chemical compounds called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to such a level that exceeded the EPA’s lifetime health advisory levels.

All of the New Castle city wells were contaminated, as well as six wells owned and operated by a local water utility company. However, the EPA and drinking water officials have confirmed that before the water from the wells reaches homes and businesses, it goes through a filtering process. The filtering process removes enough of the PFAS chemicals to reduce or eliminate water contamination.

What are PFAS Chemical Compounds?

PFAS are made up of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFOS) chemicals. PFOS and PFOA compounds are used in a variety of industrial manufacturing products and processes. Here are just a sampling of some of the products that use these manmade chemical compounds:

  • Pesticides
  • Paint
  • Leather
  • Products used for stain resistance on cloth
  • Adhesives and other heat-resistant tape
  • Non-stick cooking pans and pots
  • Home cleaning products
  • Wax
  • Carpet and furniture upholstery
  • Fire retardant foams
  • Cosmetics
  • Water proofing
  • Food packaging

What are the Health Effects of PFAS?

The PFOS and PFOA chemical compounds can be found almost everywhere. These chemicals are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down in the environment and remain intact. Due to their persistence and inability to naturally break down, the chemicals can be found in drinking water, most foods, including fish, meat, and anything grown in PFAS contaminated soil.

These chemical compounds are also often found in the blood of people and certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Here are some of the health problems people can have when exposed to these chemical compounds:

  • Liver issues
  • Kidney cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Fetal health and development
  • Low newborn birth weight
  • Autoimmune health issues
  • Thyroid health conditions
  • Late puberty

Delaware Water Contamination Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Victims Exposed to Forever Chemicals

If you believe you have suffered health effects due to drinking contaminated water, let the Delaware water contamination lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. help. Exposure to toxic PFAS chemicals can cause an array of health problems, and we are here to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

What Should I Know About Delaware’s Clean Water Bill?

Environmental advocates and state residents are one step closer to receiving improved waterways after the Delaware House unanimously passed the Clean Water for Delaware Act. Some of the main components of the proposed legislation include rebuilding Delaware’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructures, preventing flooding, avoiding water contamination, and a $50 million investment in a Clean Water Trust. The Clean Water Trust would increase funding to counter water pollution to better serve residents, especially those who reside in low-income areas. Additionally, the proposed bill contains water reports, urgent projects, and plans to address pollution in the state. Future projects would be regulated by a Clean Water Trust Oversight Committee.

Delaware waterways are a vital resource and drive the economy as well, including fishing and boating industries. According to state officials, more than 377 bodies of water in Delaware are in dire need of repair because of pollution from bacteria, toxins, and other harmful contaminations. Additionally, more than 100 miles of waterways have fish consumption advisories because of pesticides and other chemicals. Many state residents are eager to have essential waterways cleaned and maintained.

Individuals who are suffering from an illness they believe was caused by exposure to contaminated water should reach out to an experienced toxic tort lawyer for assistance.

What are the Types of Water Contamination?

In order to prevent water contamination, one must understand the types. Water is a universal solvent, meaning that water can quickly dissolve substances, which makes it vulnerable to contaminants from farms, towns, and factories. Some common types of water contamination include the following:

Agricultural: The agricultural industry is the top consumer of global freshwater resources, which leads to significant contamination. When it rains, fertilizers, animal waste, pesticides, and other toxins can flow into waterways. Nutrient pollution, which is caused by nitrogen and phosphorus, is the top threat to waterways. It can cause dangerous algae blooms.

Sewage and wastewater: Showers, toilets, sinks, and sewage produce forms of wastewater. Stormwater runoff can leak into water supplies as well. Some negligent companies will discard industrial waste into water sources.

Oil pollution: Oil and gas from vehicles and large oil spills can contaminate water sources also. Tankers, both illegally and legally, spill contaminants.

Radioactive substances: Nuclear power plants, uranium mining, and hospitals, and other entities that use radioactive materials contribute to water contamination. Radioactive waste can last for thousands of years, which further contributes to the problem.

All of these forms of water contamination are harmful, which is why advocates and organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), enforce regulations to keep drinking water and other related sources safe.

What are the Signs of Contaminated Drinking Water?

It may be hard to detect water contamination, and one of the best ways to determine if drinking water is affected is using a test. A local water purification company will be able to perform a water test to establish if it is safe. The test will also help a homeowner know how to fix the problem. Water filters and softeners can lessen the risk of water contamination.

Some signs that tap water is unsafe include the following:

Cloudiness: Typically, water should be clear. Cloudiness may not be harmful in certain circumstances, but it reveals that there are pathogens or chemicals.

Buildup: Some homeowners may discover that their hands feel slimy after washing their hands with soap and water. Substances can leave deposits on the skin, which can feel slime-like.

Color: Yellow, brown, orange, blue, or green water can be unsafe. Yellow water may indicate that there is a cancer-causing agent or a sign of buildup of lead, copper, or iron. Orange and brown water might contain too much iron, lead, or rust. Green or blue water could be signs of copper and corroded pipes.

Smell: If the water smells like bleach, there could be too much chlorine. Chlorine is added to water supplies to eliminate bacteria and toxins, but when it’s mixed with other compounds, it can be harmful. A fish-like or sulfur smell could be a sign of water contamination as well.

Taste: A metallic taste could be a sign of rusty pipes. In some cases, it could indicate a low pH level.

What are the Effects of Contaminated Water?

Health effects may not show up immediately. For this reason, people should regularly inspect and make sure their water supply is safe. Generally, health-related signs of waterborne illnesses include these issues:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Developmental problems
  • Pregnancy issues
  • Death

It is important to understand that contamination can come from different areas in the home. One might unknowingly bathe in contaminated water, too.

What is a Toxic Tort?

When a person is harmed by water contaminants, chemicals, or another toxin, they may be eligible to pursue a toxic tort claim. A toxic tort is a type of personal injury claim, and the plaintiff has the burden of proof that another negligent party caused their injury or illness. Showing that water contamination led to one’s illness is often challenging because symptoms may not develop right away.

A toxic tort lawyer will help their client with their case. A lawyer will investigate the circumstances and file a state or federal claim if necessary. A large and powerful corporation, manufacturer, distributor, or another entity may be responsible for water contamination, especially if it involves industrial waste or a similar scenario. However, a dedicated and experienced lawyer will be able to collect evidence, strengthen a claim, and fight for their client’s rights. As soon as one begins to suspect that contaminated water is directly causing their injury or illness, they should seek legal representation, since there are time limits to file a claim.

Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Affected by Water Contamination

The Delaware House passing the Clean Water for Delaware Act is a step in the right direction; however, residents are still being affected by contaminated water. If you believe you are sick because of water contamination, an experienced Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you with your case. Our legal team understands the dangerous effects of water contamination, and we are ready to help. 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.

Why Should I Speak to a Lawyer About Water Contamination?

Water contamination is a serious issue that can have significant adverse effects on a person’s health. Water is one of the most important substances for human life and health. If drinking water is contaminated, it quickly becomes a hazard rather than nourishment. Contamination can lead to serious injury or illness, and a victim may need to seek legal assistance to recover damages.

Water contamination has been known to cause serious illness in children and adults and has been found to be responsible for birth defects when consumed by pregnant women. When considering a lawsuit for water contamination, one should think about the following:

  • Liability: Who is responsible for the safety of the available water?
  • Knowledge: Did they know that contamination was present or at least that there were issues that made contamination likely?
  • Criminality: Did the other party fail to follow local or national regulations for water safety?

These are not the only factors that are relevant to a lawsuit for water contamination. Additionally, each one of these does not have to be met to file a suit. These types of lawsuits are complicated, but a toxic tort lawyer can help their client understand all possible options.

How Safe is Public Drinking Water?

The United States has some of the safest and cleanest drinking water because of regulations implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, contamination still happens. Even though there are rules in place when it comes to water supplies, many components of the public water system are old and outdated.

How Does a Water Supply Become Contaminated?

A water supply can become contaminated when a pipe breaks or becomes damaged, allowing foreign substances to get in the water. Additionally, water can be contaminated by materials from decaying water pipes. Any defect that allows unintended substances into the water supply can lead to dangerous contamination.

What are Common Contaminants in Drinking Water?

Drinking water contamination can include the presence of parasites, like Giardia, or viral infectious elements, like norovirus. It can also relate to known harmful substances, like asbestos and led. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a large number of water contaminants and tracks data for the public health issues resulting from them.

How can I Identify Contaminated Tap Water?

Identifying specific contaminants requires professional testing. However, there are a few ways to help identify unsafe water:

  • Cloudy Water: Water should be clear.
  • Off-Color: Brown or orange-tinted water may indicate rust or a damaged line, allowing dirt and other substances in. A blue or green tinge could mean copper contamination.
  • Slimy Feel: Some contamination can actually make the water feel different. Water that causes the skin to feel slimy after contact is a significant warning sign.
  • Odd Smell: Water that smells strongly of bleach can be a sign of excess chlorine. A rotten egg smell may indicate hydrogen sulfide contamination.

If one believes they have an illness because of contaminated water, they should speak to a lawyer right away.

Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Affected by Water Contamination.

Water contamination can be extremely damaging. If you are suffering from the adverse effects of water contamination, you are likely entitled to compensation. A Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help determine if you have a case for compensation. Contact us online 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.

Delaware River Basin Commission Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

As fossil fuel resources have dwindled, efforts have increased to find new avenues. The Marcellus Shale, an extensive rock formation, has been found to be a source of natural gas embedded deep inside underground fissures. It runs through a number of states, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The area has been of great interest to oil and gas companies. They use hydraulic fracturing to explore for and extract gas from the rock. The process involves drilling wells deep into the rock, and injecting high volumes of pressurized and chemically treated water to force open fissures to get to the gas deposits.

Concerns over hydraulic fracturing have been growing. Hydraulic fracturing has been found to cause extensive environmental damage and water contamination. Contamination occurs through three pathways: spills, discharge of waste into rivers and streams, and the underground migration of chemicals and methane gas into drinking water wells.

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is an interstate commission overseeing aspects of protection of the water quality of the Delaware River and its tributaries. Recently, the DRBC voted to ban hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin entirely. This vote will result in protections against dangerous hydraulic fracturing activities and has been touted as a major win by environmental advocates. The decision not only bans hydraulic fracturing wells from being drilled, it also bans taking of water from the area and bans dumping waste products.

What are the Challenge of Toxic Torts?

People who have gotten ill from exposure to toxic materials can seek compensation through a toxic tort action. This is a legal claim to recover from harm from the exposure to a dangerous substance, such as a drug, pesticide, or chemical. When large numbers of people are affected, they can join together in a class action suit.

The challenge in toxic tort claims is proving causation. Illnesses caused by exposure to toxins do not generally manifest right away. The delay in showing symptoms can make it challenging to prove both the exposure and that the exposure that caused the illness. Other challenges include the potential for intervening factors. If other causes of the illness are possible, it can be difficult to prove that the specific toxin was the main cause of the illness. In addition, it can be difficult to identify the defendants in a case, particularly if the exposure was not recent. For example, a particular drug may be made by more than one manufacturer, which may change over time.

Despite these challenges, it is possible to bring and win toxic tort claims. Scientific developments are evolving and continue to establish linkages between chemicals and diseases. A recent example of a successful toxic tort claim involved individuals being exposed to toxins by a popular weed killer. A number of people were found to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using the product. In three recent jury trials, the manufacturer was found to have failed to warn users of the dangers of using the product, and the plaintiffs were awarded significant financial compensation.

If one needs legal counsel about a toxic tort case, they should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. These cases are hard to prove, but a lawyer can fight on behalf of their client.

Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Clients Affected by Water Contamination

The ban on hydraulic fracturing is a great moment for environmental advocates. If you believe you are sick from water contamination, a Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete an online form for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

Delaware Reaches Settlement with Chemical Company Over PFAS Contamination

In mid-February, a settlement was reached between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and an international chemical company that had operated a facility in Delaware from 1998 to 2020, where they processed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The DNREC found that hazardous chemicals were present in the soil and water and took the company to court. The DNREC did their testing in July 2020. A few months later, it was found that the chemical company was potentially responsible for releasing hazardous perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the environment.

What are PFAS?

PTFE is a synthetic resin that is slippery, resistant to other chemicals, and has a high melting point. It is mostly used in non-stick cookware and industrial products, like pipelines, valves, pumps, and bearings.

PFAS are similar to PTFEs, and are widely used around the world. The main difference is in the processing; PFAS are processed through screw extrusion techniques. These chemicals can be found in food packaging, household products, polishes, firefighting foams, and cleaners.

There is significant evidence showing that PFAS can cause serious health problems. Exposure can lead to higher cholesterol levels, problems in the immune system, thyroid issues, low infant birth weights, ulcerative colitis, and cancer. PFAS have also caused tumors in animals. This is why environmental agencies like the DNREC conduct testing to see if PFAS are present in soil and groundwater.

What Did the DNREC Conclude?

During the case, the DNREC determined that perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was released, which is a PFAS chemical. PFOA water contamination can lead to health complications. PFOAs are considered to be hazardous substances by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA). During the July 2020 site inspection, PFOA were discovered immediately upstream of the company’s exhausts and filters, as well as in the groundwater, surface water, sediment, and soil near the building.

A news release stated that DNREC’s testing did not identify any known potentials for health concerns in the surrounding neighborhoods. There is a blood test that can detect the presence of PFAS in the blood, but it cannot predict if future health problems will occur. It is not a standard blood test, but it can be given upon request.

The DNREC offered the chemical company the opportunity to enter a voluntary cleanup program in the state as part of the Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act. The company did apply back in December, however, their application was later rejected because it was insufficient.

The chemical company must complete a comprehensive environment investigation at the facility site as well as the surrounding areas. They are also required to create and execute a remediation plan. The company claims that it is not liable for releasing the chemicals into the environment.

Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Families Injured by Toxic Chemicals

Exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to serious health complications. If you have been exposed to dangerous chemicals in your environment, a Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you. 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.

Are PFAS Commonly Found in Pesticides?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in countless consumer products, including firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, and carpets. These chemicals are also used in some pesticides. Organizations like the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) are stating that PFAS might present even greater health risks to the public than previously thought. PEER’s report states that PFAS were in a mosquito-control insecticide that was sprayed in Massachusetts, New York, and many other states.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict guidelines for these chemicals and has issued Lifetime Health Advisories for them. Their testing shows that PFAS are in the fluorinated containers that contain pesticides. These containers are treated with these chemicals to make them more stable and durable. The EPA plans to conduct risk assessments on PFAS with federal and state agencies and will be posting updates on their websites.

Why are PFAS Dangerous?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that PFAS can lead to thyroid disease, asthma, decreased fertility, liver damage, and cancer. In fact, the CDC’s guidelines for exposure limits are 10 times lower than the EPA’s. Other associated illnesses include kidney and testicular diseases and suppressed immune function.

The reason why PFAS are so dangerous is because most of them do not break down, so they build up in people’s bloodstreams. In some areas, PFAS have been found in drinking water and food. Although research is still underway, it is also thought that PFAS can lead to higher cholesterol levels, lower infant birth weights, and even reduced vaccine responses in children.

Should My Family be Worried About Exposure to PFAS?

Those who are worried about possible exposure can contact their physician for information. Although standard laboratory tests cannot detect exposure of PFAS, there is a test that can show if there are PFAS in a person’s blood. This is not a routine test that doctors automatically give patients, so it would have to be requested. If PFAS are detected, there is no way to predict how they will impact one’s health in future. Getting a yearly physical, including blood work, is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Comparing the numbers from year to year can show if any levels are higher than normal.

People who know that they have been exposed can speak with their health provider about this and can request to be monitored for any conditions or symptoms that could be related to exposure. Expectant mothers may experience high blood pressure or liver and kidney damage after drinking contaminated water with PFAS. Expectant mothers should be especially vigilant about prenatal care.

What is a Toxic Tort Lawsuit?

Individuals who have suffered harm as a result of exposure to dangerous substances may want to seek damages for their injuries and illnesses. Even though chemicals are approved by state and federal agencies and regulated, people can still get hurt.

Dangerous substances can leak into groundwater, be stored incorrectly, or be sprayed before they have been thoroughly tested. These types of cases that involve drugs and chemicals are filed by individuals or groups of people and fall under the category of environmental toxic tort litigation. A plaintiff will allege that exposure to a hazardous substance caused their injury or illness, usually from environmental, home, or occupational exposure.

Industrial workers can be exposed to toxins while on the job, and some of the more familiar cases relate to benzene and asbestos exposure. In other instances, people have been harmed from using toxic products in their homes, like cleaners and pesticides.

What Do I Have to Prove in a Toxic Tort Case?

To prove a toxic tort case, the plaintiff needs to show these elements:

  • The substance in question is harmful.
  • The plaintiff was exposed to it.
  • The substance caused direct harm to the plaintiff.

There could be several parties responsible for the toxic exposure, including the chemical manufacturer, the company that manufacturers the storage containers, and other companies along the supply chain. Defendants in these types of cases can be large corporations, and they mount robust defenses to protect their interests. They will look for and try to create holes in the plaintiff’s case, and they will also try to provide evidence showing that the plaintiff did not prove the three elements listed above.

How is Liability Established in Toxic Tort Lawsuits?

To prove fault in a toxic tort, a plaintiff and their lawyer can focus on different angles. Products liability is when the product is unreasonably dangerous or defective or if the manufacturer did not alert consumers to the safety and health risks. Strict liability is when the defendant’s behavior was especially dangerous. Negligence is a common claim, and plaintiffs have to show that the defendant had an obligation for using ordinary care to the plaintiff, and the defendant’s actions or inactions did not meet that duty. As a result, the plaintiff was injured.

For help with constructing a case, a victim should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Wilmington Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Represent Plaintiffs in Toxic Tort Cases

Injured plaintiffs who are considering filing toxic tort lawsuits should also know that there are statutes of limitations, even though many of the symptoms can take years to develop. If you are experiencing ill effects from exposure to hazardous chemicals, do not hesitate to contact a Wilmington toxic tort lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

What are Common Mesothelioma Risk Factors?

Mesothelioma is a dangerous health issue that affects many people. The risks are significant, however, there are ways to lessen them. Mesothelioma is a very specific type of cancer. It is a form of cancer that occurs in the layer of tissue that covers most of the body’s internal organs, which is called the mesothelium.

Mesothelioma is very aggressive and dangerous. Treatments are available, but in many cases, there is no available cure. Mesothelioma is typically divided into different categories based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Most commonly, it affects the pleura, which is the tissue surrounding the lungs. This is referred to as pleural mesothelioma. More rare types of mesothelioma exist. These typically affect tissues in the abdomen, which is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. It can also present in the tissues around the heart and the testicles.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

The most common factors that lead to mesothelioma include:

Smoking: A leading cause of many forms of cancer, smoking is a significant contributor to mesothelioma.

Radiation Exposure: Radiation has been shown to do a great deal of damage to the human body. Radiation has been shown to cause cancer and other ailments, including mesothelioma.

Genetic Factors: Some people are born with a disadvantage. It is possible that one person may be genetically predisposed to be at greater risk for mesothelioma than someone else.

Asbestos Exposure: This is one of the biggest factors in the United States. In fact 70 to 80 percent of mesothelioma patients were previously exposed to asbestos.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos has a long history of use in construction and other applications, and it is a naturally occurring mineral. Asbestos is composed of a series of flexible and soft fibers. The structural makeup led to it being used in a variety of industrial processes. Some of the most useful aspects of asbestos is its durability and resistance to other forces and contaminants. The fibers are resistant to electricity, heat, and corrosion, which helped it to become very popular in many industrial uses. Over the decades, however, the dangers of asbestos have become more known, limiting its use.

Asbestos was highly used for many years in a variety of products due to its effectiveness as an insulator. The negative side of this is that the widespread use meant extended contact with asbestos for many people. When asbestos dust is inhaled, toxins can become permanently trapped, leading to serious health problems much later in life.

Common Forms of Asbestos Contamination

Asbestos is commonly found in older homes and other structures. It was commonly used in ceiling and floor tiles and pipe fittings. Construction and remodeling in older homes can be dangerous because pulling out or disrupting old installations can stir up dust that can cause health problems when it is inhaled. This dust could include a variety of potential toxins, however, asbestos is a large risk. Outside of dust inhalation, asbestos can cause water contamination. Not only is there a risk from asbestos use in pipe fittings, but small amounts of asbestos are commonly found in community drinking water.

Radiation Exposure and Mesothelioma

Radiation exposure can cause a variety of health issues. Exposure to radiation can occur in various settings and for different reasons. The root of the exposure could be occupational, environmental, or even medical. People who live or work in an area what they are frequently in contact with radiation are at an increased risk for developing mesothelioma. Radiation treatment for other forms of cancer can result in the onset of the disease as well.

Smoking Risks for Mesothelioma

Smoking is a hazardous activity. It increases the risk of various forms of cancer. Recreational smoking significantly increases mesothelioma risk.

Occupational Risk Factors

Occupational factors can be significant in contributing to mesothelioma risk. Most commonly, work environments that subject workers to radiation contamination or asbestos inhalation are strongly linked to cancer, especially mesothelioma. Many construction-related occupations have been impacted in the past by asbestos side effects. This is less common since the material is not used in new constructions the same as it was in the past. Firefighters have a strong mesothelioma risk because of the dangerous work they perform. Entering into a burning building is dangerous for a variety of reasons, but older structures can lead to asbestos exposure.

What Should I Do After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

Victims of mesothelioma have many questions. It is common to ask about liability after a diagnosis. Liability questions arise when it comes to toxic substances or environments. For questions about liability or gaining compensation, the best option is to consult a knowledgeable lawyer.

Georgetown Mesothelioma Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Mesothelioma Victims Get Compensation for Medical Care

Mesothelioma takes a serious toll on your health. Treatment can be very expensive and extremely challenging for most patients; this is why it is so important to receive compensation. If you have recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact a Georgetown mesothelioma lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. 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.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Benzene Exposure?

Benzene is a dangerous chemical compound. It is formed naturally in forest fires and volcanos, and it is also a component of gasoline, cigarette smoke, and crude oil. It is formed in industrial processes, and it is used to create other chemicals as well. Long-term exposure to benzene can create significant, long-term health problems.

Classified as a hydrocarbon, benzene is a clear or light-yellow liquid. It is one of the most widely-used chemicals in the United States. It also extremely flammable and smells sweet. Benzene does not dissolve in water, it floats on top of it. Benzene vapor weighs more than air does, so it can sink into lower-lying areas. Industrial factories discharge benzene into water; the chemical can also leak out of gas storage tanks and landfills.

Additionally, benzene evaporates into the air, which means that it can be inhaled, causing lung damage. People who work in certain industries could be at high risk of benzene poisoning. Companies that manufacture dyes, detergents, pesticides, rubber products, lubricants, and drugs use the chemical; it is also used for making synthetic fibers, paint, resins, and plastics.

What are the Signs of Benzene Poisoning?

Benzene exposure can make cells malfunction. In some cases, the immune system is damaged after white blood cells are lost; benzene can also decrease red blood cell production. Long-term exposure and the amount of benzene involved will dictate the severity of the side effects. Individual factors, like pre-existing medical conditions and age, can make it worse.

A person who consumes food or drinks that contain high benzene levels can experience immediate nausea, vomiting, convulsions, irregular heartbeat, or even death. If high levels of benzene are inhaled, similar symptoms can occur, along with dizziness, headaches, and tremors.

Long-term benzene exposure mostly affects the blood. It can damage bone marrow or cause anemia and excessive bleeding. The chance for infections also increases since benzene can affect the immune system. Research also shows that women who were exposed could experience damage to their reproductive system. Benzene is also linked to cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma.

Can I File a Lawsuit for Benzene Exposure?

Even though benzene is known to cause health problems, including cancer, it is still widely produced. There have been benzene lawsuits with significant damages awarded to plaintiffs. These suits often involve large, industrial employers and are initiated by employees who have suffered from long-term exposure.

In some cases, benzene has led to water contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has maximum contaminant levels that apply to public water systems to protect consumers from benzene exposure. However, companies may try to hide high levels of benzene in order to protect their own interests. The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) discovered that the petrochemical industry had suppressed scientific data that indicated low-level benzene exposure was linked to cancer. The CPI also claimed that the same industry was aware of the benzene-leukemia link since 1948.

If one believes they were exposed to dangerous levels of benzene, it is important to consult a lawyer. A lawyer will determine if filing a lawsuit is the best course of action.

Wilmington Environmental Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Offer Compassionate, Trusted Legal Guidance to Clients Injured by Benzene Exposure

If you are suffering from side effects because of benzene exposure, contact one of our experienced Wilmington environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

Can Asbestos Affect My Drinking Water?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, it is made up of flexible fibers, which is useful in many industries. Asbestos fibers are resistant to heat, corrosion, and electricity. These components allow the mineral to be used in many different ways, but as useful as it may be, it can also be very toxic.

Asbestos works very effectively as an insulator. For this reason, it has been used in a variety of materials, including cloth, paper, cement, plastic. The problem with this is that when asbestos dust is inhaled, ingested, or otherwise enters the body, it can become permanently trapped there, leading to health complications

Older homes may contain asbestos. At one time, the mineral was very popular in the development of new structures. It was considered to be a great insulating agent that provided an extra layer of safety because of its heat and fire-resistant properties. Homes built prior to the 1980s are likely to have asbestos. Common locations for asbestos in older homes may include:

  • Ceiling and floor tiles
  • Textured paint
  • Spray-on insulation
  • Cement
  • Roof shingles
  • Steam pipes

Asbestos has a long history of use in municipal water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. Additionally, many older homes still have pipes that contain asbestos. Over time, water pipes degrade, allowing more contaminants into water supplies. What many people may not know is that most water supplies in the United States contain small amounts of asbestos, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The common belief is that the levels are too low to be dangerous; however, the presence of toxins in drinking water is concerning and could lead to health complications.

Is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos can be very dangerous due to its toxic components. This is why large-scale use in commercial and residential construction has been phased out over the last several decades. It is important to remember, however, that asbestos is still used in smaller amounts in many products.

Asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma. Since the toxic elements can remain in the body for years without detection, the cancer and its symptoms may not appear until well after exposure. This means dangers can be long-term and severe.

What Should I Do About Asbestos-Related Health Issues?

Health issues arising from asbestos contamination can be very difficult and costly to treat. It is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. It is also best to seek out a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the legal side and how to get a patient compensation for asbestos exposure.

Delaware Asbestos Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Families Affected by Asbestos Contamination

If you believe your water source has been contaminated by asbestos, do not hesitate to speak with one of our Delaware asbestos lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.