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How Chemical Exposure Can Cause Cancer – St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

Chemical exposure in the workplace poses a serious risk to workers and can cause health problems ranging from minor skin irritation to respiratory diseases.

warning sign about asbestos

As of 2014, nearly 8.8 percent of all workplace fatalities were attributed to toxic chemical exposure. One of the most serious risks posed by chemical exposure is the potential for the development of cancer. It may take years or even decades for the cancer to manifest itself after the exposure. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will talk about the various types of cancers that can result from toxic exposure at work.

Types of Cancers Caused by Chemical Exposure

Chemical exposure is known to cause development of certain types of cancers. Some of the common cancers resulting from chemical exposure include:

Lung cancer: Exposure to arsenic, asbestos, silica, tars and chromium can result in lung cancer. These chemicals are used in metal refineries, construction and in oil/coal processing.

Nasal cancer: Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde, high levels of isopropyl alcohol or wood dust can cause nasal cancer

Bladder cancer: This can result from exposure to toxic fumes emitted during processing of rubber, in tanning industries and the production of aluminum.

Mesothelioma: This is one of the more common work-related cancers and results from asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma commonly occurs in construction workers, ship workers, and HVAC workers.

Skin cancer: Workers who are exposed to sunlight, coal tar and arsenic are at risk of developing skin cancer. It commonly occurs in industries such as construction and landscaping where workers have to spend long hours outdoors, and with little protection from scorching sun.

Larynx/Pharynx cancer: Exposure to isopropyl alcohol and asbestos can cause Larynx/Pharynx cancer.

Blood and lymphatic cancer: Cancer of the lymphatic system and blood can be caused by exposure to herbicides, benzene and X-rays.

Liver cancer: Workers involved in the manufacturing of electronic components, wood processing and mining are often exposed to arsenic, which can lead to liver cancer. Those involved in the production of PVC plastics are exposed to vinyl chloride and are at risk of developing liver cancer.

It is needless to mention that cancer is a deadly disease. Over the years, survival rates have considerably improved, but prognosis depends largely on the type of cancer, the stage at which it is detected, and the overall health of the worker.

Seeking Workers Compensation for Occupational Cancer

Cancer requires long term treatment and care. The worker may need to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. All this can prove extremely expensive and the worker may need a long time off work for treatment and recovery. All this while, workers compensation benefits can take care of the medical expenses and wage loss. However, the worker will need to prove that the cancer is a direct result of occupational exposure. It is best to seek help from a competent St. Louis work injury lawyer. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE consultation.

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Updated: May 22, 2024