Environmental contamination is a serious hazard that many people unfortunately find themselves facing. Oil, chemicals, heavy metals, radioactive materials, etc. are all types of ground contaminates that could have been dumped long ago and, over time, these contaminants leach up through the ground into the homes, yards and properties of unsuspecting victims. These contaminants can cause serious injuries and illness to unfortunate victims who happen to be exposed to them. Luckily, there are circumstances where victims may be eligible for compensation for any harm that they have suffered due to soil contamination.
How Does Soil Contamination Happen?
Soil contamination occurs in two main ways. The first way is through contaminants being dumped directly on the ground. This could be the case if an unscrupulous company long ago dumped waste contaminants on the earth. Perhaps the company dumped chemicals in a ditch or buried barrels of contaminates underground. Years later, the company may have sold the property to a real estate developer, and now residents have to deal with the aftermath many years after the contaminants were dumped onto the site or leaked from buried barrels.
The second way that contaminants end up in the soil is by being transported by water. When water becomes contaminated, the contaminants deposit in the soil that is exposed to the water. Contaminated streams, rivers, and other bodies of water could flood during a storm, causing the contaminated water to escape its natural boundaries and and overflow into other people’s properties.
How Do Contaminants Harm People?
Soil contaminants are often absorbed through the skin when the soil is touched. Gardeners, children playing in the dirt, and people who happen to be walking on contaminated soil with bare feet could all potentially be exposed. Disturbing the contaminated soil could also release contaminants into the air, which could be breathed in as well. Foods that are grown in contaminated soil can also absorb contaminants, and if these contaminated foods are ingested, a person could be injured.
Exposure to soil contaminants can cause serious injury and illness to people. For instance:
- Absorbing too much of a heavy metal can cause heavy metal poisoning, where heavy metals accumulate in the soft tissues of the body.
- Contaminated soil has been known to cause leukemia.
- People often experience kidney or liver damage when exposed to contaminated soil and other toxins.
- Nervous system problems are often associated with contaminated soil.
- Contact with contaminated soil can also cause skin conditions and rashes to appear where contact with the soil was made.
- Other common symptoms associated with exposure to contaminated soil include neuromuscular blockage, nausea, headaches and fatigue.
It is unfortunate, but environmental hazards, such as soil contamination, happen all over the country, and people become sick or injured as a result. If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms that suggest contaminated soil exposure, and you have reason to believe that your symptoms are the result of an environmental hazard, you should speak with a lawyer immediately.
Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, is ready and available to help you with your environmental hazard exposure case. This area of law is very complicated, and you need a lawyer who is dedicated to getting you the justice you deserve. Contact us today to see how we can help you.