Methylene Chloride Lawsuits
Methylene chloride is a chemical found in a number of consumer products, despite the fact that this highly toxic chemical has been implicated in at least 56 deaths in the United States since 1980. Methylene chloride is noted on warning labels as a probable carcinogen, but what many don’t know is that fumes from this chemical, used in paint strippers and other products, can cause asphyxiation, heart attack, and sudden death. Many of the people who have been seriously injured or killed by methylene chloride poisoning used this chemical on the job without proper protection.
Our experienced dangerous product lawyers are now investigating methylene chloride lawsuits on behalf of injured parties and grieving family members all over the United States.
Methylene Chloride Fumes may be Deadly
Methylene chloride is found in many products, including paint strippers and adhesive removers. This chemical, also known as dichloromethane, softens paint very quickly, so that it can be easily scraped off. While use of methylene chloride is a very efficient way to remove old paint or adhesives, this chemical releases highly toxic fumes. If used in an area without proper ventilation, methylene chloride fumes can kill a person in a matter of minutes.
Given this information, it may not surprise some that, per the CDC, since 2000 at least 14 workers have died of methylene chloride poisoning while attempting to strip paint off of bath tubs in poorly ventilated residential bathrooms. The CDC says, “To use products containing methylene chloride safely, work areas must be well-ventilated, and when levels of methylene chloride exceed exposure limits even after implementation of engineering and work practice controls, workers must use respiratory protective equipment, such as tight-fitting, full-face, supplied-air respirators.”
According to the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance (HSIA), a trade group which includes manufacturers of methylene chloride, proper use of this chemical is the best way to stop methylene chloride injuries and deaths. However, industry groups like HSIA have fought against stricter regulations and warning labels for methylene chloride products since at least the 1980s.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) passed stricter regulations regarding occupational use of methylene chloride in 1997, but these laws don’t protect self-employed individuals or private consumers who are still able to purchase methylene chloride products at hardware stores and other retailers.
In methylene chloride lawsuits, it may be alleged that consumers were not given proper warning of the dangers of this product and how to use it safely. In fact, a number of agencies have repeatedly called for methylene chloride to be banned altogether because they say it is an inherently dangerous product.
Symptoms of Methylene Chloride Poisoning
There have been multiple cases where people using methylene chloride in a poorly-ventilated area or without proper protection have died in mere instants. Some signs of methylene chloride poisoning may include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
Before using a solvent like methylene chloride, it is very important to research any dangers associated with the product—and it is wise to consult more sources than potentially inadequate product warning labels.
Contact a Toxic Exposure Lawyer
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has noted reports from as far back as the 1940s of workers dying very rapidly as a result of inhaling methylene chloride fumes. Despite many decades of evidence, most American consumers are likely not aware of the dangers associated with this toxic chemical because warning labels are, according to many, inadequate. Consequently, nearly 3,000 instances of methylene chloride poisoning are reported in this country every year—and many of these cases involve children.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to methylene chloride inhalation, you may have grounds for a dangerous product lawsuit based on claims that the makers of the product in question failed to warn of serious risks. It may also be possible to hold negligent employers responsible for workers’ toxic exposure. To learn more about methylene chloride lawsuits, please contact our product liability lawyers to schedule a free legal consultation.