Environmental Disasters & Exposures
Environmental disasters are frightening for everyone, largely because they are out of our control and because they impact our homes, property, and health. These types of disasters are often caused by natural forces—but they can also be caused by a company failing to use correct pollution controls or effective procedures to ensure safety. Errors can lead to a large-scale accident that greatly affects the surrounding environment.
If you are in an area that was affected by an environmental disaster, such as an oil spill or nuclear meltdown, you are likely going to feel its effects. Citizens who are exposed to the disaster may develop health problems due to toxin exposure, and the areas affected will likely lose revenue and resources, resulting in major economic damage. To seek justice in these situations, get in touch with a qualified lawyer as quickly as possible.
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Environmental Disasters Are Often Preventable
Our environment is beyond precious, yet humankind has a habit of serving as its destruction. We face numerous challenges when it comes to coexisting with Mother Nature in the 21st century. Climate change, air and water pollution, deforestation, and soil degradation are just a few of the significant issues that are affecting many lives today.
Humanity’s impact on the earth is evident in the effects of overpopulation, pollution, and burning fossil fuels. However, several habits of humankind that have altered our geographical landscape are reversible. We can protect our land, air, and water before the damage is too extreme to reverse.
Toxic waste, oil spills, polluted air, and contaminated water are unacceptable, and we should hold people and companies that deliberately violate environmental standards accountable. Too often, corporations mistreat the earth without nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Things get all the more personal when local environmental disasters also begin to impact your health and well-being.
The Impact of Environmental Disasters
Oil spills and other major environmental disasters have widespread and long-lasting consequences. The ecosystem in the area may never be quite the same, which makes these types of cases different from the majority of personal injury cases that award damages to one individual or one family.
Disasters that affect the environment affect thousands or millions of people in a region. They may not only impact your future, but also the future of your children and their children if the damages to the environment are irreversible. Contact a skilled lawyer with experience in environmental disasters and exposures today to discuss the details of your case.
What Can I Do After Exposure or an Environmental Disaster?
If you are in an area affected by an environmental disaster, you need to act fast. Exposure to any number of toxins or dangerous chemicals may cause complications for your health, home, or business, and you should pursue compensation for any loss, including loss of property, loss of income, or medical expenses.
The legal team at Stewart & Stewart is well-versed in environmental disaster cases, and we are ready to fight for you, your family, and your community. The companies responsible for this type of destruction should be held accountable for their actions. Together, we will make sure that happens. If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them. Reach out today for a free consultation.
Types of Environmental Disasters and Exposures
Here are just a few examples of environmental disasters and harmful factors that can impact your life and livelihood:
- Toxic waste
- Oil spills
- Polluted air
- Contaminated water
- Lead paint
- Toxic mold
Formaldehyde is a chemical that is used in building materials and many household products. The chemical is colorless, yet foul-smelling and flammable. Formaldehyde is used in countless products, including:
- Particleboard, fiberboard, and plywood
- Glues and adhesives
- Permanent-press fabrics
- Paper product coatings
- Industrial fungicide and disinfectant
Despite being produced in trace amounts in living organisms, formaldehyde is damaging when materials that contain it release the substance into the air as a gas or vapor. The problem of formaldehyde exposure is not only limited to people that work in manufacturing or construction workers but extends to those who live in a home that contains formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde exposure through a vapor or gas in the air (or by absorbing it through the skin) leads to short-term symptoms like watery eyes, burning sensations, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.
Less is known about its long-term effects. However, in 1987, the EPA classified formaldehyde as “a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.” Formaldehyde exposure is potentially linked to cancer, meaning that companies should do their due diligence and avoid exposing workers and home dwellers to this chemical.
An environmental disaster is treated as a catastrophic event for a reason. The event not only damages the terrain but can also alter the larger environment. Environmental disasters differ from natural disasters in that the issue is caused by human activity.
Oil spills are perhaps one of the most frustrating environmental disasters because, in many cases, a spill could have been avoided together. Several oil spills are clearly the result of negligence or relying on defective parts. In most instances, the problem could have been addressed sooner, potentially eliminating the disaster.
Furthermore, oil spills are catastrophic because they alter everything in the local ecosystem—and not for the better. For example, an oil spill off the coast not only impacts all the species and organisms in the water, but also those on the shore. Nature relies on a food chain, so when one species is eliminated or badly altered, it affects the next species up the food chain, and so forth.
The problem extends to humans living in the area of an oil spill. For example, an offshore oil spill will surely impact the livelihood of fishermen and other industries that rely on seafood. It can also impact water quality and air quality or cause other environmental side effects that affect everyone in the region where the spill occurred.
How an Oil Spill Lawyer Can Help
Hiring an oil spill lawyer or attorney with demonstrated experience in the area of natural disasters is the best option for securing fair compensation. The environment cannot protect itself, so it falls upon locals to step up and fight back against negligence and lack of care.
Oil companies and other industries often destroy the earth without much sympathy. These companies need to be held accountable when their recklessness leads to an environmental disaster on a massive scale.
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