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Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution Causes Health Problems Over Time


It may be hard to believe, but prior to 1970, there were no unified regulations targeting environmental pollution. Manufacturers and factories didn’t have standards to follow regarding toxic emissions. They could dump chemical waste into local water sources. Pesticides could freely enter our soil, water and air.

Pollution refers to contaminants introduced into our natural environment that cause harm, discomfort, instability or disorder. Pollutants can be either man-made substances or naturally occurring toxins. And they all can make you sick.

Arsenic is one example of a naturally occurring substance. Radium, mercury and lead are others. All are poisons that can damage the body over time.

You can find benzene in the air we breathe, due to fumes from gasoline service stations, factory emissions, and exhaust from motor vehicles. This natural substance is also a part of crude oil and cigarette smoke.

Chromium is another naturally occurring substance. In one form, it is essential for glucose, protein and fat metabolism. In another form, it is lethal. Manufacturers sometimes use chromium in working with metals, to harden steel, for example.

You can find dioxins in air, soil and food. Major contributors include waste incineration, forest fires and herbicide manufacturing. We have all been exposed to some degree. Serious concerns primarily involve long-term exposure, which can damage reproductive function, as well as the immune, nervous and endocrine systems.

Still others have been introduced as man-made substances, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), perchloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE). These substances may have been used in the production of electrical appliances, dry-cleaning solvents and adhesives.

And although oil and petroleum occur naturally, the fact that they get spilled into bodies of water and on land is usually due to a man-made occurrence. One recent example is the BP Gulf oil spill.

These substances can also affect your health when vapor intrusion occurs. Whatever the cause, it results in pollution which can make you sick.

Complications Vary in Type and Severity

The possible complications are as numerous as the toxins causing them. Some are linked with short-term exposure. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain; headaches; coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath; and burning and irritation of the eyes and throat.

Chronic complications can be life-threatening yet difficult to predict. They may not occur for months, even years, after low-level exposure. And, given that many chemicals were introduced into the environment prior to their regulation, some may have been accumulating in an individual’s bones or tissues for decades.

These serious complications may include paralysis; blindness; immune deficiency; diabetes; heart disease; developmental disorders in children; and damage to the reproductive system, kidneys, lungs, and brain.

In worst-case scenarios, a person may develop cancer in various organs in the body, enter into a coma, or even die.

Weitz & Luxenberg Will Stand Up for You

Are you wondering if your medical concerns are related to toxic chemicals and other environmental pollutants in your home or workplace? Weitz & Luxenberg may be able to help. We’ve been successfully handling complicated medical lawsuits for the past 25 years. In fact, we are one of the largest personal injury and mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, and we have won $17 billion in damages for our clients.

Before making a decision, we encourage you to ask the kinds of questions that will serve your needs best, such as what is that firm’s prior experience and what philosophy guides them in working with clients? We believe that with our consistent and superior results, Weitz & Luxenberg stands out, and we will dedicate ourselves to working for you.

Recent W&L Results

  • $423 Million

    W&L has secured a landmark MTBE settlement against some of the country's biggest oil companies. They have agreed to pay $423 million in a suit involving the contamination of 153 public water systems nationally.

Related Practice areas

W&L Facts

  • Our team has 8 dedicated lawyers. Environmental Pollution
  • We won a settlement of $423 million from large oil companies for contaminating public water systems. Environmental Pollution
  • We have served clients from more than 20 states. Environmental Pollution
  • More than 3,500 clients have used our Environmental Team as their legal advisors.

    Environmental Pollution
  • Our largest total settlement amount was more than $400 million. Environmental Pollution
  • We served on 2 nationwide multidistrict litigation committees for plaintiffs injured by corporate greed. Environmental Pollution
  • We’ve been helping Environmental clients for more than 10 years. Environmental Pollution
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