Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Fire dispersants and injuries to children

Many children have been sickened since 2010 in the gulf coast region, and it had nothing to do with pollutants in the water. Though many people were hurt during the BP oil spill, many more people were injured do to the dispersants used to put out the fire as the oil wells went up in flames.

The dispersants used to put out the fire appear to be related to a number of health hazards including eye and skin irritation, respiratory problems, injury to liver, kidney and blood cells, immune suppression, infant mortality, etc. Treating children for such syndromes has often involved the use of powerful drugs that have a number of side effects.

The use of these dispersants has also created a number of dilemmas for attorneys representing injured clients. Judges have been reluctant to allow certain lawsuits to go forward because certain dispersants were approved by the federal government. In the meantime, these dispersants are being stockpiled along all sorts of coastal states like Pennsylvania.

It can be argued that the dispersants in use are both dangerous and at the same time beneficial. Certainly, we cannot let fires go out of control. However, there needs to be limits when these same products create risks to human health and safety.

There may be other ways the products can be formulated or better instructions regarding the use of these products. Corporations make millions off of marketing these products, and therefore these companies also have money to research as to how to make the products safer.

Sometimes, there is often more than one defendant responsible for injuries. Simply because one party is liable does not mean that other parties cannot be held liable as well.

Source: Huffington Post, "Unfinished Business: The Unspoken Link Between Dispersants and Sick Children in the Gulf of Mexico," by Riki Ott, Nov. 30, 2012

For more information regarding defective product injuries, please visit our Pittsburgh law firm's website.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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