Vinyl Chloride is a chemical primarily used to produce polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is one of the most widely produced plastics in the world, and is used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. The toxicity of vinyl chloride has been established since the 1930s, when the PVC industry first got started.
Vinyl Chloride Exposure and Adverse Health Effects
Studies from the 1930s showed that animals exposed to a single high dose of vinyl chloride subsequently suffered from liver damage. Later studies found long-term exposure to the chemical caused deadly liver tumors, including the rare and fatal liver angiosarcoma.
Further studies revealed vinyl chloride exposure causes liver, brain and lung cancer, as well as lymphatic and hematopoietic malignancies (e.g, lymphoma and leukemia). Historically, the group with the highest prevalence of these injuries was workers in vinyl chloride production plants. In the late 1960s, Dr. John Creech first discovered a very rare form of cancer, liver angiosarcoma, in a worker in a B.F. Goodrich plant in Kentucky. In 1974, Goodrich finally issued a press release saying it was investigating cancer deaths of three employees possibly related to vinyl chloride exposure, although multiple academic studies had already shown that vinyl chloride exposure causes angiosarcoma.
Angiosarcoma of the Liver is a malignant tumor of the liver. With angiosarcoma, the tumor arises from one's endothelial cells and veins. Signs of liver angiosarcoma include jaundice, fatigue, enlarged liver, vomiting, nausea, reduced appetite, and enlarged spleen.
Dioxin exposure has been linked to suppression of the immune system, reproductive disorders, development of cancer, and endometriosis. There has been concern that dioxin is produced as a toxic byproduct of vinyl chloride manufacture and from incineration of PVC waste from garbage. In February 2007, the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee of US Green Building Council released a report which stated that the "risk of dioxin emissions puts PVC consistently among the worst materials for human health impacts."
Contact an Experienced Attorney
With over four decades of experience, the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has extensive knowledge about vinyl chloride exposure cases. Our firm is currently involved with the Crestwood water contamination cases, where residents of the city Crestwood in Illinois unknowingly consumed well water contaminated with toxic chemicals such as vinyl chloride. Many of these residents developed serious health problems such as cancer. Our attorneys work to ensure that you receive the best representation and the largest settlement possible. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from vinyl chloride exposure or contamination, contact us for a free no-obligation consultation.
EPA: Vinyl Chloride
Visit this link from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to learn more about vinyl chloride and the health hazards resulting from exposure to the chemical.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Vinyl Chloride
Visit this link from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website for more information on vinyl chloride, including a map displaying locations in the United States where the chemical is known to be present.