Vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical used to make PVC, is known to cause cancer in humans. Lawsuits and class actions have been filed by people who were exposed in drinking water or on the job.
Need a Texas Vinyl Chloride Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
$15 Million Class Action Settlement
In September 2015, $15 million class action lawsuit settlement was awarded to around 350 residents of Crestwood, Illinois who drank water contaminated with toxic vinyl chloride for 20 years.
Vinyl Chloride Drinking Water Lawsuits
The first lawsuits over vinyl chloride exposure were filed in 2009, just days after news of the Crestwood drinking water scandal was reported by the Chicago Tribune. City officials told residents they would only use Lake Michigan water after 1985, when the vinyl chloride contamination was discovered. Instead, the city continued using water from the contaminated well for up to 20% of their tap water supply between 1985 and 2007.
What is Vinyl Chloride?
Vinyl chloride is a toxic gas that is flammable, colorless, and sweet-smelling. It is part of that “new car smell” in vehicles with PVC plastic interior or vinyl-upholstered seats.
Other Names for Vinyl Chloride
Vinyl Chloride (VC) is also known as Chloroethene, Chloroethylene, Ethylene monochloride, Monochloroethene, Monochloroethylene, or Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).
What is Vinyl Chloride Used For?
Vinyl Chloride is used to make Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the world’s 3rd-most popular plastic material. It is used to make pipes, wires, cable coatings, packaging, upholstery for furniture and cars, kids’ toys, carpet backing, bathroom tiles, kitchen wrapping-film, plastic bottles, vinyl records, cigarettes, credit cards, medical devices, and more.
How Are People Exposed to Vinyl Chloride?
People can be exposed to vinyl chloride by breathing it in the air, drinking contaminated water, or absorbing it through the skin by touching plastics. PVC workers have the highest risk of exposure to polyvinyl chloride. So do people who live near PVC factories, landfills, and old laundry or dry-cleaning waste dumps.
High-Risk Industries for Vinyl Chloride Exposure
- PVC workers
- Laundry & dry cleaning
- Plastics workers
- Rubber workers
- Hazardous waste (Superfund sites)
- Oil refineries
What About Hairdressers?
Hairdressers and barbers who used hairsprays with vinyl chloride between 1966 and 1973 have developed angiosarcoma of the liver (ASL) in several case reports published in 2009. The use of vinyl chloride as an aerosol propellant (hairspray, etc.), refrigerator coolant, and extraction solvents were banned in 1974.
Vinyl Chloride and Cancer
Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) and exposure is associated with these types of cancer:
- Angiosarcoma of the liver
- Brain cancer
- Blood cancer
- Bone marrow cancer
- Breast cancer
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Liver sarcoma
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Long-Term Health Risks of Vinyl Chloride
Long-term exposure to vinyl chloride has been linked to a wide range of harmful health side effects — cancer, liver disease, nerve damage, immune reactions, Raynaud’s syndrome, sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, pregnancy complications, and more.
Vinyl Chloride & Liver Cancer
Vinyl chloride can cause liver scarring (cirrhosis), which is a risk-factor for liver cancer and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Studies show that PVC workers who are exposed to vinyl chloride are 45-times more likely to develop angiosarcoma with an average delay of 22 years. Angiosarcoma is an aggressive type of liver cancer that starts in cells on the inner wall of blood-vessels. It usually takes decades to develop and it is extremely rare in people who are not exposed to vinyl chloride.
Skin Exposure to Vinyl Chloride
Vinyl chloride on the skin can cause blisters and redness. Over time, workers who frequently touch PVC products can absorb vinyl chloride and develop Reynaud’s phenomenon (poor blood-flow in the hands).
Symptoms of Breathing Vinyl Chloride
Breathing high levels of vinyl chloride can cause the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Organ damage (liver, lungs, kidneys, heart)
- Spleen enlargement
- Liver enlargement, fibrosis, cirrhosis
What is Vinyl Chloride Disease?
Vinyl chloride disease involves Raynaud’s disease (fingertips turn white, numbness, are sensitive to cold), bone changes in the fingertips, joint and muscle pain, and scleroderma-like skin changes. Scleroderma, or “systemic sclerosis,” is a severe connective-tissue disease that causes the fingers to curl and harden.
How Long Did Manufacturers Know?
Health risks have been know since the 1950s when experiments on lab rats found evidence of harm. Experts pinpointed cancer-causing effects in the 1960s. Today, manufacturers still downplay side effect risks, with the exception of liver cancer (angiosarcoma).
Need a Vinyl Chloride Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Vinyl Chloride lawyers for a free lawsuit review.