California Environmental and Toxic Tort Law

Environmental and Toxic Tort Law cases in California are often one and the same. In an age when the carelessness of large corporations seems endless and the public has awoken to environmental dangers such as global warming and pollution of groundwater, such cases can not only provide a measure of redress to injured plaintiffs but also assist in the fight against what some entities would do to our planet in the name of profit.

Individuals in their homes, at work, in school and during leisure or recreational activities are exposed to toxic chemicals, drugs, and mercury from the places they live, work, or elsewhere spend time and what they eat and drink and the cosmetics they use.

They can be damaged by exposure to asbestos, lead, mercury, zinc, chromium, TCE, PCBs, arsenic, benzene, beryllium, pesticides, silica, manganese, formaldehyde and other toxins from places and things they would never have expected. Examples include lead-paint covered toys, toxic chemicals not only in the groundwater and the tap water used by companies to fill bottled water.

But pollution can come from the air, from the water, from the soil, and from other sources one often doesn’t consider. Pollution also comes from electro-magnetic fields, cigarette smoke, and mold in the home or at work.

Air pollution includes unhealthy levels in the air quality index, acid rain, indoor air quality, and particulate pollution from construction. Smog and haze aren’t just depressing, they can also be deadly when filled with types of pollution that is of particular risk to the elderly. Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and chlorofluorocarbons are just some of the chemicals one faces in every day life. Too much of any of these can cause severe problems including cancer and even death to most anyone, not to mention other damage to the ecosystem.

Water pollution can come from wastewater, surface runoff, sewage, waterborne diseases, water quality, oil spills, ship pollution, and ocean acidification, just to name a few sources. Soil pollution can come from herbicides, pesticides and even from invasive species. Among those soil contaminants people should be most concerned with, are MTBE, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Because it happened thirty years ago, many today are unfamiliar with or have forgotten the groundwater pollution case known as Love Canal. In the late 1970s, residents in the Love Canal area of New York were suffering from high rates of cancer and birth defects. The cause was traced to chemicals that had infiltrated into the groundwater and water supply from an industrial landfill. Hundreds of families were reimbursed for their damages but had to move from the area.

Radioactive contamination is becoming more and more of a problem. There is already plutonium in the environment, radium in the environment, uranium in the environment and other environmental radioactivity. Soon we will be hearing more about alpha emitters and actinides.

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