The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning a ban on a chemical that is commonly used in dry cleaning services, due to its serious impact on liver health and neurological function. The chemical, trichloroethylene (TCE), has been associated with serious risks to consumers and workers. A 2014 assessment concluded that the chemical can lead to a wide array of health effects, including cancer, the development of neurotoxicological effects, and liver toxicity.
TCE is a chemical that is mostly used as a solvent. It has a pleasant, sweet smell, although it can be inhaled without any odor associated with it. The vapors can also be absorbed through skin contact. In most cases, TCE is used in commercial or manufacturing facilities. It is sold through industrial supply channels as a degreaser or refrigerant chemical.
The EPA is proposing to prohibit the manufacture of the chemical, as well as its use in processing plants and distribution centers that use TCE in aerosol degreasing applications or spot use cleaning applications in dry cleaning facilities. The federal agency is also proposing a requirement that would force manufacturers, processors, and distribution centers to provide notice to retailers and other businesses and individuals in their supply chains of the agency’s new prohibitions. Because of its highly hazardous nature, the EPA plans to evaluate the potential health consequences associated with TCE in its other uses and applications.
TCE is only one of 10 chemicals that the EPA is considering for potential health risks pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act. This law was amended recently and now provides the EPA with the power to require a safety review for any chemical in the stream of commerce.
Although it is not typically marketed to consumers directly, there are many products and other ways that a consumer can come into contact with TCE, such as through using a dry cleaning facility that uses TCE. Also, if you have worked in a factory, dry cleaning facility, or other industrial operation involving frequent exposure to TCE, you may be at risk.
If you have suffered injuries associated with exposure to a toxic chemical like TCE, you can file a lawsuit against the chemical manufacturer, other parties in the supply chain that sold or provided the chemical, and any employer that instructed you to use the chemical. There are a wide variety of claims you can assert against these parties, including product liability, negligence, and breach of express or implied warranty. Including each defendant that may be responsible for your injuries is the most important factor in ensuring that you pursue the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
At Moll Law Group, we have provided dedicated legal counsel to victims throughout the United States, including in California, New York, and Florida. Our team of professionals knows what it takes to investigate and put together a complex toxic tort lawsuit. We can assist you with each step of the process, including gathering information, contacting expert witnesses, negotiating with insurance companies, and ensuring that your rights are protected along the way. To set up your free consultation, call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online.