If you have a child with a birth defect, who is under age 20 and the birth mother worked with chemicals during pregnancy, you need to take immediate action.
Chemicals cause cancer by corrupting the process of cell division and creating mutations. Chemicals that are mutagens deform cells in the developing embryo and fetus, resulting in high rates of miscarriages and children born with birth defects. Simply put, chemicals that are mutagens are teratogens that result in retardation and deformities.
OSHA allows workers to be exposed to levels of chemicals that are much higher than the levels set by environmental exposure laws, which are intended to protect human health.
Under Proposition 65, the State of California sets health-based environmental exposure limits for specific chemicals in air and water. The maximum concentrations are not allowed to cause more than one additional cancer per million people exposed to the chemical over their lifetime. It is a very stringent health standard.
On the other hand, OSHA exposure levels for identical chemicals in the workplace are thousands of times higher.
Methylene chloride, benzene, epichlorohydrin, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene have been used in industry for years. Toxicologist confirm that these chemicals are known carcinogens. The difference in how these chemicals are regulated by environmental and health laws and OSHA is astounding.
Under environmental regulations, the maximum concentration of methylene chloride that can be discharged to the air, if converted to what is known in industry as an “8 hour time weighted average,” is .001 parts per million [ppm].
Under OSHA rules the “allowable” level of exposure for methylene chloride is 25 ppm, which is 25,000 times greater than the health standard.
For benzene, the OSHA level is 1 ppm, even though the health standard is 1 part per billion [ppb]. The OSHA standard is 1,000 times greater.
Health regulations allow exposures to epichlorohydrin of 0.001 ppm, while OSHA allows 2 ppm, which is 2,000 times greater.
The maximum concentration of trichloroethylene under health standards is 0.007 ppm or 7 ppb. But the OSHA level for TCE is 25 ppm. That’s 3,571 times higher.
OSHA levels for perchloroethylene are 25 ppm, but under health regulations the allowable limit is 0.003 ppm. The OSHA limit is 8,333 times greater.
On a day-to-day basis, workers have been exposed to high levels of dangerous chemicals, which have been thousands of times stronger than levels allowed by public health laws.
Because of the workers’ compensation system, employers are protected from being sued in court for exposing workers to chemicals known to cause cancer. It is legal for an employer to require a worker to be exposed to chemicals at OSHA levels, i.e. levels that cause health and reproductive harm.
When chemicals cause an illness, an injured worker in California can bring a workers’ compensation claim before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, but recoveries generally are limited to medical bills and disability payments, among others.
In short, workers’ compensation recoveries are very limited. Not so for children exposed in utero.
Children of workers who have suffered birth defects caused by exposure to chemicals during pregnancy are entitled to bring suit for full and complete compensation against their parent’s employer for the injuries and damages they have suffered and to have their case heard by a jury.
In most states the time limit on bringing suit does not start to run until a person becomes an adult on their 18th birthday.
In California, the statute of limitations for bringing an action for personal injuries is two years and a lawsuit for birth defects caused by chemical exposure during pregnancy can be brought any time before the 20th birthday.
If you or a family member have been wrongfully injured call us at 1.888.777.1776 or use this form, delays can hurt your case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.