Pesticide Exposure Attorneys
Pesticides are chemical substances used in preventing and destroying unwanted plant growth or pests. Commercial and residential consumers use them to maintain their properties and control weeds and insect infestations. Many are safe for use around humans and pets. However, extended exposure to these chemicals and large concentrations during their use can be toxic to humans. Anyone exposed to dangerous levels of these harmful substances can suffer unpleasant symptoms, short-term health problems, and permanent diseases.
Children and unborn infants are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of pesticide exposure. Since their nervous systems, immune systems, and organs have yet to develop fully, they are susceptible to pesticide poisoning and various illnesses.
You should not hesitate to contact Paul LLP Trial Attorneys if you or your loved one developed a medical condition from exposure to a pesticide. We might be able to represent you in a lawsuit against the parties who applied the pesticide that harmed you. Call us at (816) 984-8100 for a free consultation today to learn more.
Common Types of Pesticides
Various types of pesticides are on the market and contain chemicals that can lead to serious symptoms, diseases, and long-term complications. The acute and chronic effects of exposure often depend on the type of pesticide, such as:
- Carbamates and organophosphates – This is a class of pesticides functioning as a form of nerve gas. Pesticides of this type attack the brain and central nervous system, causing interruptions in the transmission of nerve signals. Common symptoms of exposure include dizziness, chest and muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, confusion, and nausea. Serve poisoning can lead to adverse effects, including incontinence, trouble breathing, coma, convulsions, or death.
- Soil fumigants – A soil fumigant is for use on soil. The pesticide forms a toxic gas to destroy insects, plants, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes in the soil. Exposure occurs as the gases eventually escape and become airborne. Anyone living or working nearby can inhale the toxic gases in the air. Fumigant poisoning can cause symptoms and medical conditions, such as premature birth, lung, skin, and eye irritation, some cancers, and reproductive problems.
- Pyrethroids – Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals used in insecticides. The structure is similar to botanical compounds, effectively eliminating pests in agriculture, homes, animals, and public buildings. Typically, the substance is harmless to humans when they’re exposed to small concentrations. However, higher concentrations can be toxic to a person’s nervous system. Exposure might lead to symptoms such as headaches, involuntary twitching, fatigue, salivation, tremors, itchy, stinging skin, and vomiting. Some pyrethroids can cause long-term issues, including heart disease, cancer, genetic damage, and reproductive challenges.
How Pesticide Exposure Occurs
Anyone can come in contact with a pesticide, whether they are applying it in their own backyard or living near an application site. Exposure often results through one of four methods:
- Environmental contamination – Pesticide exposure can occur when the chemicals enter groundwater or the air.
- Inhalation – Pesticides often enter the air around workers and people living near agricultural sites and other application areas. Anyone can breathe the pesticide into their lungs if they are in the vicinity shortly after application.
- Accidental ingestion – Someone might accidentally mistake a liquid pesticide for a beverage and drink it if it’s poorly labeled or left unattended.
- Occupational exposure – Some workers handle pesticides on the job. They can absorb the harmful substance into their skin upon direct contact, inhale it during the application, or accidentally ingest it.
Common Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning
Pesticide poisoning causes symptoms that often mimic the symptoms of numerous illnesses, such as the flu or common cold. Some people don’t realize exposure occurred and might take over-the-counter medication or rest at home, thinking they will wait out the symptoms until they feel better.
Individuals who work directly with pesticides are at a higher risk of direct exposure and misdiagnosis. The laborious task of applying pesticides in hot or warm environments might lead workers to believe they’re suffering from heat exposure or overexertion rather than exposure to toxins.
Symptoms often caused by pesticide poisoning include:
- Slowed pulse
- Watery eyes
- Profuse sweating
- Mental confusion
- Central nervous system depression
- Unconsciousness and coma
- Diarrhea and nausea
- Loss of coordination
Long-Term Complications of Pesticide Exposure
Pesticide poisoning or exposure can lead to acute or chronic conditions. Acute conditions have a sudden onset and cause immediate symptoms or ones that develop rapidly and last a short period. Chronic conditions worsen over time and have a longer duration than acute conditions.
Acute symptoms can occur shortly after exposure and include:
- Mouth, throat, and nose irritation
- Stinging, burning, and itchy skin
- Blisters and rashes
- Stinging eyes or blurry vision
- Diarrhea and nausea
People with asthma often have severe reactions to pesticides that are potentially life-threatening, especially when they are exposed to organophosphate, carbamate, or pyrethrin/pyrethroid pesticides.
Chronic medical conditions caused by pesticide exposure can include:
- Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder. It affects the nervous system and areas of the body the nerves control. Symptoms are often barely noticeable at first and worsen over time. Initial symptoms might include tremors, slow movement, and stiffness. As the disease progresses, it can affect mood, cognition, behavior, and motor skills.
- Lymphoma – Lymphoma is a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system, which is made up of the organs and tissues responsible for producing, storing, and carrying white blood cells to combat infection. Two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, weight loss, fever, and feeling tired.
- Asthma – Asthma is a disease affecting a person’s lungs. The airways swell and narrow, making breathing difficult. It causes repeated bouts of chest tightness, wheezing, breathlessness, and coughing. Many people can control their symptoms with medication. However, others experience difficulties participating in routine activities and can experience a life-threatening attack.
- Diabetes – Diabetes is a chronic medical condition affecting how the body processes food into energy. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, diabetes and prediabetes are adverse health effects of pesticide exposure.
- Reproductive issues – Pesticide exposure can increase the risk of reproductive health problems, such as birth defects, miscarriages, and developmental or learning disabilities. Exposure to pesticide chemicals can also cause low testosterone levels in males and affect fertility.
- Learning and developmental disorders – Children exposed to pesticides during gestation are at risk of numerous medical problems as children and adults. After birth, newborns can suffer from birth defects and experience delays in development as they age. There’s also an increased risk of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and cancer. Since organs don’t finish developing until later in the pregnancy, pesticide exposure can affect bodily systems, such as endocrine, respiratory, reproductive, and immune, causing permanent damage.
Who You Can Hold Liable for Pesticide Exposure
Determining who to hold accountable for the medical condition you developed from pesticide exposure can be challenging. If you’re in an occupation where you regularly encounter pesticides, that’s likely how the exposure occurred. However, if you never use pesticides, finding the source of exposure is tricky.
You need to pinpoint the moment you might have encountered pesticides and track the symptoms or medical condition you suffered after exposure. If you developed cancer or another severe disease, you’ll have to think back to when exposure could have happened, even if it was years ago.
If you believe your illness is due to pesticide exposure or poisoning, you can file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the application of the pesticide. Residents living near a farm, industrial area, or application site can likely pursue a case against a commercial applicator. Farmers, industrial employees, and similar workers can also seek compensation for the adverse effects of exposure.
The parties often sued in pesticide exposure cases include:
- Owners and renters of buildings, properties, or companies where application occurs or they store the chemicals
- Manufacturers and distributors of the insecticide or herbicides
- Manufacturers and distributors of applicator devices or equipment that exposed employees to pesticides
Possible Compensation for Pesticide Exposure
You might qualify for a lawsuit against a pesticide distributor, applicator, or another party for the harmful effects of its product on your health. The compensation you receive will depend on numerous factors, including the severity of your medical condition and total expenses related to the exposure.
You should not pursue legal action without an experienced attorney. Large corporations have fierce and experienced defense teams fighting against allegations of misconduct. You deserve the same protection and advocacy.
The money you recover from a lawsuit could compensate you for losses, such as:
- Emergency room visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, and other medical costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Diminished or loss of enjoyment of life
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer Today
You won’t be alone in the fight for justice. Paul LLP Trial Attorneys will aggressively pursue action on your behalf to hold the negligent party liable for its actions. We will be diligent in our efforts and try to achieve a positive result.
If you developed symptoms or a medical condition after exposure to pesticides, get started with your case by calling Paul LLP Trial Attorneys at (816) 984-8100 for a free consultation.