Cancer and other serious health concerns related to vapor intrusion
Fifty acres of land under the neighborhood of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, New York is contaminated with oil. This oil spill, which is one of the largest in history, has been an on-going problem for the last 150 years, and even citizens to this day are at risk of developing cancer because of vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion happens when the fumes of volatile organic compounds (such as oil) work their way up through the water or soil and contaminate the air above. BP, Exxon Mobile, and Chevron are currently in charge of the clean-up in Greenpoint; however some residents of the area are saying that it is not going fast enough.
"This is Patrick McManis and he had stomach cancer. And this is my mother. My mother had the cervix cancer…a lot of breast cancer [in the neighborhood]. This is one of my best friends, she had breast cancer. And now her sister has it," recalls Theresa Breznak as she counts 40 people on her block in Greenpoint who have either battled or died from cancer.
"It's emissions that are coming out of the ground. Some of them have been known to be benzene fumes, which is a known carcinogen," says Tommy Stagg, a life-long resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The EPA agrees with Tommy Stagg. In a September 2007 report the EPA said that "the greatest potential exposure pathway is possible vapor intrusion into the residential properties [of Greenpoint, Brooklyn]," (CNN).
(Minnesota Department of Health)(Epa.gov) As part of weitzlux.com’s on-going commitment to provide you with the latest news on the health risks of vapor intrusion, we have compiled current information and resources. Please, check back frequently for updates.
What is vapor intrusion?
Vapor intrusion is the process by which vapors from the soil or underground waterways beneath a property seep up through the earth and floor, and contaminate the inside. This is usually caused by the improper disposal of toxic chemicals.
What are the health risks associated with vapor intrusion?
The fumes associated with dangerous vapor intrusion usually come from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or Trichloroethylene (TCE). In the case listed above featuring residents of Greenpoint developing cancer, the vapor intrusion was from oil, a type of VOC. Both VOC and TCE contain serious health risks including:
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Damage to the central nervous system
(Minnesota Department of Health)(Epa.gov)
What can be done?
A lawsuit can compensate you for the losses you have had to endure during your experience with vapor intrusion. Those seriously injured by vapor intrusion have the right to financial compensation for losses such as:
- Medical treatment expenses for any injuries caused by vapor intrusion
- Future income lost due to forced retirement related to the incident
- Funeral costs for a loved one who died from a vapor intrusion-related illness
- The cost of medication prescribed for a vapor intrusion-related illness
- Any earnings lost as a result of moving, hospitalization, or illness related to vapor intrusion
- Moving costs
Weitz & Luxenberg can assist you in a lawsuit. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in getting compensation for those injured by vapor intrusion. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.
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