Weitz & Luxenberg Provides Information Pertaining to Environmental Pollution and Environmental Lawsuits
The Consequences of Environmental Pollution
Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental Toxic Tort Unit is dedicated to obtaining justice on behalf of individuals and communities who have suffered from exposure to dangerous toxins in the environment. Our attorneys are knowledgeable of environmental law, and have years of experience litigating against numerous defendants, including national corporations such as BP. They have served as legal advocates on behalf of clients who endured the adverse effects of various types of pollution such as vapor intrusion, tainted water, toxic emissions and noxious odors from landfills.
Below is a list of the environmental areas our firm is familiar with:
Arsenic: Populations that drink arsenic rich water over extended periods, risk developing a host of dangerous illnesses and medical complications, including cancer and reproduction difficulty. In a February 2000 report, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which analyzed data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), concluded that “more than 34 million Americans were drinking arsenic contaminated tap water.” (NRDC).
Benzene: Classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a carcinogen (a substance which causes cancer), Benzene is “found in emissions from burning coal and oil, gasoline service stations, and motor vehicle exhausts.” (EPA) Exposure to Benzene has been linked to less severe conditions, such as headaches to serious illnesses such as aplastic anemia, a “blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells.” (NIH)
Chromium: Chromium compounds “are used for chrome plating, the manufacture of dyes and pigments, leather and wood preservation, and treatment of cooling tower water.” (EPA) Exposure to chromium at high levels can results in anemia, damage the internal organs and cause cancer.
Dioxins: Dioxin pollution has been a concern of the federal government for many years, and these chemicals have been classified by the EPA as “likely human carcinogens.” (EPA) Dioxin examples include: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzo furans (PCDFs).
Gulf Oil Spill: In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded, resulting in death and severe injuries and loss of revenue. Aside from the environmental ramifications, various restaurants situated near the Gulf of Mexico, experienced considerable loss of business. Other industries, such as tourism, reported significant loss of revenue, and many fishermen who operated near the Gulf, were left struggling to make ends meet.
Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking): Hydraulic fracturing is a dangerous type of gas drilling operation that has resulted in health problems for people across the nation, as well as diminished property value. Families living near gas drilling facilities in several states have complained that their water turned almost black as a result of hydraulic fracturing.
Landfill Odors: Offensive odors emanating from landfills are a nationwide problem. Not only do residents living near these landfills have to be continuously exposed to horrible, toxic stenches, they find it either exceedingly difficult or impossible to rent or sell their homes.
Lead Poisoning: Lead poisoning has caused widespread medical problems in people of all ages, but babies and children are especially vulnerable to its effects because they are most likely to “eat soil or paint chips containing lead.” (EPA) If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can sustain damage to their brains and nervous systems.
Mercury Poisoning: Mercury pollution can damage the brain and kidneys, and it poses serious health risks to pregnant women. A person can be exposed to mercury by drinking polluted groundwater, eating contaminated shellfish, inhaling vapors, and, in some extreme cases, by going to the dentist (some of the equipment may be mercury based).
Pesticides Exposure: A“pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.” (EPA) Humans can be exposed to pesticides in a myriad of ways: inhalation, accidental ingestion, or getting the chemical on the skin or in the eyes.
Petroleum Spill: Oil consists of a variety of substances including petroleum, which can cause Peripheral Neuropathy, a nerve disorder that causes numbness in the feet and legs. Some petroleum compounds can be hazardous to the blood, immune system, lungs, skin and eyes.
PCB: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBS) have been linked to health problems affecting the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. It has also caused cancer in employees who worked at manufacturing plants or near toxic landfills.
Property Damage: Environmental pollution takes its toll on real estate, making it difficult for people to live in their homes, much less rent or sell them to others. When toxic chemicals are released into the air and water, they detract from the marketability of a house or other property.
Radium: Radium is classified as a human carcinogen and was discovered in 1898 by Polish physicist Marie Curie. During her era, few knew of the dangers of radium, and used it in a number of products from toothpaste to glow in the dark watches. For health and safety reasons, many of radium’s original uses have been discontinued.
TCE: Otherwise known as Trichloroethylene, TCE is a colorless liquid that is used as a solvent for cleaning metal parts. Inhalation or ingestion of high levels of TCE may result in nervous system defects, liver and lung damage, abnormal heartbeat and even death.
Water Contamination: “Water is essential to all forms of life and it plays a vital role in the functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems.” (EPA) So when water is contaminated, everyone and everything feels the effects. Weitz and Luxenberg can help you file a lawsuit against polluters responsible for contaminating water bodies in or around your community.
Vapor Intrusion: Vapor intrusion occurs “when there is a migration of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater or soil into an overlying structure, such as a building.” (EPA) Vapor intrusion decimates property value and endangers the welfare of families exposed to the fumes.
Weitz and Luxenberg will ensure that environmental polluters do not go unpunished
Weitz & Luxenberg is determined to doing everything legally possible to ensure that you and your neighbors have access to air and water that are not contaminated by toxic chemicals. We are committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who cannot rent or sell their homes, due to offensive landfill odors and other types of pollution affecting their communities.
Recently, our firm secured a landmark $423 million settlement against several of America’s oil giants for contaminating public drinking water supplies with methyl butyl tertiary ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive. Reckless disregard for the environment devalues property, undermines business and worst of all, compromises the health of area residents. No one should have to suffer from chemical contaminants and we are here to help you secure compensation from the parties responsible for polluting your home and/ or work environment.
Please fill out the form on this page for a free legal consultation. All of your information will be regarded as confidential and there is no fee unless you win.
For Environmental Pollution verdicts and settlements, please see our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Please visit the main pages of our other practice areas:
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qarsenic.asp
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/en/
Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/
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