Many household chemicals can cause severe injuries. Drain cleaners, pool supplies, and oven cleaners are just a few examples. For children, the risk of injury from household chemicals is a particular concern. Small children can ingest or drink poisonous substances from containers that have not been adequately child-proofed.
Perhaps one of the most deadly household toxins is carbon monoxide. Any source of combustion can create carbon monoxide. An improperly vented furnace or an oil-based space heater can release dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into the air. Because carbon monoxide is odorless, it is often referred to as the “silent killer.” If exposure is undiagnosed, it causes asphyxiation. Signs or symptoms of elevated levels of carbon monoxide include headaches, giddiness, ringing in the ears, nausea, weakness (particularly in the legs), and vomiting. When carbon monoxide poisoning is expected, removal from the area should be immediate and 911 should be called.
Hair products can cause severe skin reactions, burns, hair loss, and asthma. There is at least one study that suggests that long term use of hair dyes can lead to bladder cancer.
Mold is another toxin that is commonly found in the household setting. Mold thrives in damp conditions. Molds can cause an allergic reaction such as an asthma attack. Some molds, such as Stachybotrys or more commonly referred to as “Black Mold,” can cause the immune system to go into overdrive. When this occurs, the body’s immune system begins to attack healthy tissue. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a serious lung disease that has been linked to exposure to Stachybotrys and other molds. People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to, and injured by, chemicals or other toxins in your home, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Cleveland personal injury attorneys are experienced at handling household exposure cases.