Toxic Chemicals in Building Materials

Do you have possible negative health effects from exposure to toxic chemicals in building materials? Some studies show that toxic exposure of various types causes approximately 100,000 deaths annually, so it is a serious problem. 

If your Odessa personal injury attorney can prove the link in a claim, you could be entitled to compensation for your financial and emotional losses from your illness. However, pursuing legal action successfully is complicated, so you should rely on your Odessa, Texas personal injury lawyer at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law for help. 

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Types of Dangerous Chemicals In Building Materials

Many hazardous chemicals can be found in a variety of building materials. Some of the most dangerous chemicals that can cause human illness and injury are: 

  • Asbestos
  • Acetone
  • Lead
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Isopropyl alcohol 
  • Pesticides and insecticides 
  • Bromine
  • Chlorine
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Chlorofluorocarbons
  • Heavy metals
  • Formaldehyde 

Three Ways Toxic Chemical In Building Materials May Hurt You 

You can be exposed to toxic chemicals in building materials that harm your health in several ways. For example, you can be exposed by breathing, ingesting, or absorbing harmful compounds. How much they affect you depends on the type of toxin and how it is absorbed. For instance, if you have talc on your skin from handling building materials, this is different than inhaling it. There also are three kinds of toxic substances that could be in some building materials: 

  • Chemical toxicity: Inhalation of dangerous substances in building materials, such as asbestos, gasoline, or lead. 
  • Biological toxicity: Certain kinds of viruses and bacteria in building materials. 
  • Physical toxins: May be visible as fibers or dust in the air. 

What Is A Toxic Tort? 

In civil litigation, a tort means an act that led to harm to you because of someone’s negligence. A toxic tort in a personal injury claim involves your exposure to a toxic chemical or product that harmed you. These claims may arise from various chemical exposure, including building materials. The toxic substance may have injured you or caused an acute or chronic illness. 

Toxic torts usually involve complicated scientific and medical evidence and extensive evidence to prove who was at fault and responsible for injuries. These cases can be complex and require an experienced personal injury attorney. Some of the illnesses that plaintiffs may suffer from toxic chemical exposure in building materials are: 

  • Leukemia
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Lung disease
  • Lymphoma 
  • Silicosis
  • Multiple myeloma

Many parties could be successfully sued in a toxic tort involving dangerous building materials. For example, your attorney might sue the property owner where the exposure occurred, the building material manufacturer, or the distributor of the toxic products. 

Signs of Building Material Chemical Exposure

There are many possible signs of chemical exposure; symptoms vary based on the chemical. But most chemical exposure cases have some or all of these symptoms: 

  • Breathing problems: Chemical vapors in building materials that are breathed in may irritate your lungs, throat, and the whole respiratory system. You could have problems with coughing, chest tightness, respiratory depression, or even failure. 
  • Headaches: Many people exposed to toxic chemicals experience headaches or migraines, which may be followed by nausea. 
  • Problems with focus and balance: You may notice your mental abilities are compromised. For example, you could have difficulty concentrating, and your balance could be off. Other symptoms may be anxiety, restlessness, confusion, or even hallucinations. 
  • Irritation and burning: Chemical exposure can make the eyes and skin burn and become irritated. You may suffer skin blisters, redness, eye pain, and itching skin and eyes. 

What Are The Most Dangerous, Toxic Building Materials? 

There are many toxic chemicals, but the ones below are the most dangerous in building products: 

  • Lead: This toxic heavy metal is found in paints, plumbing pipes, roof materials, and more. It is poisonous, may be absorbed into the blood, and can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. 
  • Polyvinyl chloride: This is a common, inexpensive plastic that is used to produce many water and sewage pipes, as well as cable insulation, door and window frames, and more. 
  • Wood treatments: Many chemicals can be added to wood to avoid rot. Some of the most common are wood tar creosote and coal tar creosote. 
  • Halogenated flame retardants: Flame retardants are often in many construction materials and are added during the manufacturing processes to retard flames. If they are heated, the retardants can turn into toxic chemicals in gas form, which can be ingested or inhaled. 
  • Silica: A naturally-occurring substance in stone, concrete, tiles, concrete, and bricks. It is one of the most hazardous building material ingredients and can cause cancer. 
  • Cadmium: This soft metal resists corrosion and is not flammable when in solid form. However, cadmium fumes can cause pulmonary problems. Cadmium may be used to stabilize plastic and color glass. 
  • Asbestos: Many products contained asbestos until it was widely discovered to be hazardous to human health. Most commonly, extensive asbestos exposure from building material exposure can cause lung cancer and obstructive pulmonary disease. It continued to be used in roofing materials as late as the 1980s. While it is not in modern building materials, you can still be exposed to the toxin when working on rehab projects. 

Proving Chemical Exposure Is Difficult But Possible

It is challenging but not impossible to litigate cases involving chemical exposure from building materials. The challenge is that exposure to dangerous chemicals is different than, say, a chemical explosion. The exposure happens slowly over time; it can be years, even decades, before the negative health effects are obvious. When you are sick, proving that the illness is connected to chemical exposure may be difficult. 

To make the matter even more challenging, chemical exposure in building materials can happen in many places, including home, work, and almost any building anywhere. The complexities in chemical exposure cases mean you should choose your personal injury attorney carefully. Also, you should not attempt to litigate a complex case without an attorney at your side. 

Contact Our Odessa, TX Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you think you have been injured by chemicals in building materials, you do not have to suffer alone. Please contact our Odessa, TX, personal injury attorneys today at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law for help with your case.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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