Hazardous exposure refers to exposure to substances or conditions that can be harmful to a person’s health or well-being. This exposure can occur in a variety of settings, including workplaces, homes, and public places. Examples of hazardous exposure include exposure to toxic chemicals, radiation, and infectious agents. The effects of hazardous exposure can range from short-term symptoms such as skin irritation or respiratory issues to long-term health problems such as cancer or chronic respiratory disease.
What Qualifies as Hazardous Exposure?
Hazardous exposure can occur via ingestion, inhalation, skin contact, or eye exposure, among other methods. Common causes include spills, leaks from containers, or inadequate ventilation in the work area.
Substances that are deemed hazardous can be:
- acidic or caustic
- poisonous or toxic if swallowed or inhaled
- dangerous when inhaled (such as various types of dust)
- or any chemical that has harmful health effects on humans when exposed to it
OSHA has detailed regulations regarding exposure to substances with known health risks. For many substances, a “safe limit” exists, and exposure below that limit is considered acceptable. Exposure above that limit is considered unsafe and is unlawful. If there is uncertainty, any interaction with such substances that results in harm can be classified as hazardous exposure. Consulting with an attorney can assist you in determining if your claim is legitimate.
Work-Related vs Other Toxic Exposure:
If you have suffered from toxic exposure at work, your employer may be held legally responsible for your injuries. Employers have a duty to ensure the safety and health of their employees by following all safety and health laws and regulations. Even if the employer did not intentionally violate any laws, they may still be held liable if they were negligent or failed to provide adequate safety equipment or training.
In the case of workplace injuries, workers’ compensation laws may allow you to recover damages without the need for a lawsuit, though it is still advisable to seek legal assistance.
If you experienced toxic exposure that was not work-related, you may still have grounds for a lawsuit. Environmental pollution and chemical spills can affect entire communities, causing immediate or long-term health effects. In such cases, a lawsuit may be able to recover compensation for all affected parties.