An environmental toxin is one that is found naturally in our surroundings
There are thousands of causes of toxic injuries. A toxic injury is caused when one comes in contact with any toxin. However, some causes are still unknown or extremely uncommon. Generally, there are two different categories in which a toxic injury may fall into. An injury due to an environmental toxin, or an injury due to chemical exposure.An environmental toxin is one that is found naturally in our surroundings. (For example, molds. Mold spores may be found both indoors and outdoors.) Although it is possible that an environmental toxin can be produced with human intervention (such as pesticides) it is still considered natural. Injuries due to chemical exposure are often more severe due to the nature of these highly toxic substances. Common toxins that may cause a chemical toxic injury are found in consumer products, pharmaceuticals and industrial products.
It would be impossible to list all the potential sources of chemical contamination
Many commonly found natural substances may be toxic. They can be found in our air, water or food supply. The top ten most common environmental toxins are PCBs
While it would be impossible to list all the potential sources of chemical contamination, the following list will serve to illustrate typical contamination sources:
>> gas stations
>> machine shops
>> railroad yards and other railroad-related work sites
>> chemical manufacturing plants
>> dry cleaning stores
>> chemical waste storage facilities
>> any manufacturing plant that uses any type of cleaning solvents or gasoline based products
>> oil refineries
Every toxic injury or expsoure to a toxin has different effects and symptoms. Some toxic effects do not necessarily cause permanent damage and can be reversible. However, some toxins can cause irreversible permanent damage. Depending on the intensity of the poison of the substance it .can affect just one particular organ system or they may produce generalized toxicity by affecting a number of systems. A variety of symptoms occur depending on how and where the toxic injuries affect the body. Generally, if the toxins affect the respiratory system the symptoms are coughing, tight chest, difficulty in breathing and nose and throat irritation. Miscarriage or infertility can occur if it occurs in the ovaries or testes.Depression, severe headaches and dizziness are the symptoms for toxins affecting the spinal cord and brain. Visible reactions such as skin rashes, and swelling and eye redness are common. Exposure to asbestos can lead to Mesothelioma which  is a cancer that can cause serious
Exposed to toxic chemicals from pharmaceuticals & consumer products
Toxic torts arise in several contexts. People are typically exposed to toxic chemicals from pharmaceuticals, from consumer products, from the environment, in the home, and at work. Most toxic tort cases have arisen either from exposure to pharmaceutical drugs or occupational exposures.
Most pharmaceutical toxic injury cases are mass tort cases. This is true because drugs are consumed by thousands of people who could have become ill after taking a toxic drug.
There have also been many occupational toxic tort cases, because industrial and other workers are often chronically exposed to toxic chemicals - more so than consumers and residents. Most of the law in this area arises from asbestos exposure. However, thousands of toxic chemicals are used in industry and workers in these areas can experience a variety of toxic injuries. Unlike the general population, which is exposed to trace amounts of thousands of different chemicals in the environment, industrial workers are exposed
Occupational toxic tort cases arise from work but differ from workers' compensation claims, because workers' compensation claims are made against the worker's employer, while an occupational toxic tort case usually must be brought against "third parties," i.e., people or entities other than the employer - usually manufacturers or distributors of chemicals or the machines or devices that expose the worker to the chemicals, or the owners and lessors of premises where the worker was exposed to the toxic chemicals.
Some people also consider lawsuits claiming damage to real property to be toxic torts cases. However, real property contamination cases are qualitatively different from cases alleging toxic injuries to persons.
Pharmaceutical toxic tort cases are often litigated against drug manufacturers and distributors, as well as prescribing physicians.
However, pharmaceutical toxic tort cases differ from medical malpractice actions because they are product liability cases.
The burden of proving causation
A toxic injury lawsuit involves allegations by one or more plaintiffs that they were injured due to exposure to chemicals. The defendants in these "toxic tort" cases might be employers (workplace injury), business and industry (environmental contamination), or manufacturers or suppliers of consumer products (injury from exposure to a product). the case may be based on negligence, products liability, premises liability, or some other legal theory. Regardless of the theory of the case, seeing a toxic injury lawsuit from the initial consultation with an attorney to a jury verdict is a long and difficult process.A toxic tort is a special type of personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims that exposure to a chemical caused the plaintiff's injury or disease.By far the most difficult problem for plaintiffs to overcome in toxic tort litigation is the burden of proving causation
Additional resources provided by the author
Howard Roitman, Esq.
8921 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117