About Toxic Mold, Chemical Exposure, Pesticide, Waterborne Disease, and Other Toxic Substance Exposure Injuries
Lakeland Toxic Exposure Injury Lawyer Dean Burnetti provides professional Toxic Exposure Injury Attorney legal services in Polk County, including: Lakeland, Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Highland Park, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Alfred, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Polk City, and Winter Haven; in Highlands County, including: Avon Park, Lake Placid, Lorida, Sebring, Venus, Placid Lake, and Sylvan Shores; and in Hardee County, including: Bowling Green, Ona, Wauchula, Zolfo Springs, Gardner, and Limestone; and all of the Greater Central Florida Area.
“Toxic Tort Injury” is a legal term that refers to an injury, illness, disfigurement, or ultimate death caused by exposure to a chemical, toxin, pesticide, waterborne illness or disease, toxic mold, or other dangerous substance.
Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma frequently go hand-in-hand. Exposure to asbestos typically causes serious, if not fatal, complications. In 1986, the U.S. government instituted federal regulations on asbestos after discovering that asbestos was carcinogenic. Even worse, symptoms of cancer and other asbestos exposure-related diseases often remain undetected for years after the exposure occurred.
People frequently hear the word “asbestos” and know it’s something bad. However, they don’t often know exactly what asbestos is or why exposure to it is dangerous. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance. Its fibers are soft and flexible, as well as resistant to heat, electricity, and chemical corrosion. These qualities make asbestos an excellent form of insulation. Additionally, asbestos can be used to strengthen paper, cloth, plastic, and cement, as well as other materials. Furthermore, it can be mixed with these materials to make them fireproof. Because of these fantastic properties, in its day, asbestos was a very profitable commodity. And it was also very deadly.
How exactly does asbestos cause cancer or other disease? When exposed to asbestos, people can easily inhale or even swallow its odorless, tasteless, nearly invisible microscopic fibers and/or dust. Once these asbestos particles enter the body, they never dissolve, and the human body is unable to eliminate them. Months, years, or decades after these foreign particles enter the body, they can still cause significant damage. Such damage often includes scarring, inflammation, and cell damage. Furthermore, it can cause lung, gastrointestinal, or other cancers. Additionally, asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, pleural effusion, asbestosis, or even death!
“Mesothelioma” is a word that pops up in the news from time to time; thusly, we’ve all probably heard of it at some point. However, many people don’t actually know what it is until they are diagnosed with it.
More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States each year. Mesothelioma is cancer of the “mesothelial tissue". (The mesothelial tissue, collectively known as the “mesothelium” is the membrane that forms the lining of several body cavities. These cavities include the pleura this is the thoracic cavity. Also included is the peritoneum which is the abdominal cavity. Further included is the “mesentery” which attaches the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, spleen, and other organs to the posterior wall of the abdomen. Finally, included is the mediastinum pericardium which is the sac that surrounds the heart.)
Most mesothelioma cases result from exposure to asbestos. However, some cases are caused by other reasons including erionite or other zeolites exposure, radiation exposure, the simian [or SV40] virus, and genetics. Though mesothelioma has no cure, alternative therapy options are growing.
The location of the mesothelium membrane allows mesothelioma to affect any combination of the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity. Initial mesothelioma symptoms are often mild. In fact, symptoms might not even be problematic. However, in later stages, it can cause additional symptoms such as: dry cough, swallowing difficulties, weight loss, fluid buildup, fatigue, shortness of breath, bowel obstruction, and/or tumor(s). Treatment frequently includes surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
Florida has the second-highest rate of mesothelioma-related deaths in the nation, second only to California. However, per capita, Florida sees the highest percentage of mesothelioma-related fatalities. Florida is currently the home to three dedicated mesothelioma-specific treatment centers in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.
“Legionnaires’ Disease” makes the news every so often, despite many people not knowing exactly what it is. In 1976, the American Legion held a convention in Philadelphia. A short time later, many of the group who attended the convention started exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia. Further examination proved that they all carried a specific strain of pneumonia. This pneumonia was caused by a type of bacteria that was eventually named Legionella.
Legionnaires’ Disease is a severe form of pneumonia which causes acute inflammation of the lungs and the lining of the lungs. It is often fatal. Legionnaires occurs as a result of a person inhaling microscopic droplets of infected water.
Smokers, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems or autoimmune disorders are especially susceptible to Legionnaires' Disease. While prompt treatment with antibiotics often cures Legionnaires' Disease, many victims will continue to experience related and resulting health problems for the remainder of their lives.
Symptoms of Legionnaires' Disease are typically noticed 2 to 10 days after its host has been exposed to the Legionella bacteria. Frequent initial symptoms include headaches, muscle aches and pains, high fevers, and chills. After an additional 48 to 72 hours, the disease’s victim often experiences confusion, forgetfulness, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, a productive cough which may bring up mucus and/or blood, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While Legionnaires' Disease primarily affects the lungs, it can also cause other infections to manifest, such as in wounds and in other parts of the body, including the heart.
In 1968, a group of people who visited and worked at the Pontiac, Michigan Health Department became ill. It was unknown what was making them sick. So, the mystery-illness was named “Pontiac fever”. After the 1976 Legionnaires’ Disease epidemic, scientists realized that the Legionella bacterium caused both diseases.
Pontiac fever is a milder than Legionnaires’ Disease, and its symptoms resemble the flu. Pontiac fever typically causes fever, chills, headaches, and muscle aches, but it does not infect the lungs. Characteristically, it almost always goes away without treatment. Its symptoms usually subside within 5 days.
Legionella bacterium naturally occurs in freshwater environments such as rivers, streams, and lakes. But because its bacterium only multiply within a specific temperature range between 68° and 113° Fahrenheit, it becomes a health concern when it manifests in man-made water systems such as sink and bathtub faucets, showerheads, cooling towers, industrial plumbing systems, industrial air conditioning hot water heaters, produce misting systems, decorative water spouts, humidifiers, and hot tubs or spas.
Legionella can exist in public buildings, hotels, cruise ships, shopping malls, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, civic centers, public indoor swimming pools, health clubs, etc.
After a person becomes infected with Legionella, if the bacterium is traced back to its origin, the party responsible for maintaining the water system can face legal liability and financial responsibility to victims and/or their survivors.
Waterborne illnesses are spread by swallowing, breathing, or often just coming into contact with contaminated water. Contaminated water may exist in swimming pools, wells, cooling systems, sewers, ponds, rain barrels, spas, streams, oceans, lakes, rivers, and drinking water from foreign countries.
Illnesses or diseases that can originate in contaminated water include:
- Travelers’ Diarrhea
- E. coli
- Typhoid Fever
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis E
- Dengue fever
Symptoms of many waterborne illnesses include headaches, confusion, a stiff neck, low-grade or high fever, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or excessive thirst or dehydration.
Dean Burnetti Law Can Help...
No matter how you were injured or if a loved one was killed due to toxic exposure and you aren’t sure what your options are, the attorneys and staff at Dean Burnetti Law are familiar with every aspect of your case. They are eager to navigate the legal system for you as you travel down the road to physical and financial recovery. Call Dean Burnetti Law at 863-287-6388 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
The attorneys and staff at Dean Burnetti Law are familiar with every aspect of Toxic Exposure Injuries and Illnesses, including Asbestos Exposure, Mesothelioma, Legionnaires’ Disease, Pontiac Fever, Waterborne Illnesses, Toxic Chemical Exposure, Toxic Pesticide Exposure, and Exposure to Black Mold. Our team is highly qualified and waiting to serve you.
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Lakeland: (863) 287-6388