The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demonstrated this past year that releases of ethylene oxide are linked to more cancer cases than previously reported. The Sterigenics plant in Illinois, spotlighted in the national news when it closed due to ethylene oxide gas exposures, represents a much smaller chemical release than the plants currently operating in Texas.
Understanding toxic tort laws
The EPA found the Huntsman Corporation’s chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas is the second-largest toxic ethylene oxide emitter in the country. Regulators found that it released almost four times the amount from the closed Illinois plant. Since the Texas plant has not garnered as much coverage or oversight by state or federal regulators, many state legislators remain unaware of this issue. Though the emissions remain under the EPA’s guidelines for the Clean Air Act, federal institutions are considering a change in regulation. When it comes to toxic tort laws in your state, here are some of the primary sources of toxic tort cases:
- Work exposure: Industrial workers may be exposed to poisonous/carcinogenic chemicals in high concentrations for short durations or low concentrations or lengthy periods. The effect of these exposures may have the same result in that they cause cancers and other illnesses.
- Product exposure: Defective or improperly regulated products may cause cancer through a variety of means.
- Drug exposure: Manufacturers have a history of misleading consumers regarding the side-effects and repercussions of pharmaceutical products.
Exploring your options for a toxic tort claim
Even with Texas’s history of tort cases related to the oil and gas industry, it is often on the injured person to hold companies responsible. Don’t let a little-known exposure source produce lifelong health issues for you and your loved ones. If you believe that your employer or a local industry exposed you and your family to harmful substances, you need to contact an attorney with in-depth experience in toxic tort claims.