The greatest and most prevalent use of TCE was as a degreaser for metal parts, although demand for it began to decline in the 1950s. It can still be found in paint strippers, and industrial chemical cleaners, and it is used in a number of industries, including the aerospace and car industries, in textile treatment, and the PVC industry.
What are the Harmful Effects?
When used as an anaesthetic, higher concentrations of Trichloroethylene resulted in tachypnea (rapid breathing); it also caused many types of cardiac arrhythmia, which were made worse when combined with epinephrine (adrenaline). Cranial nerve dysfunction (especially the fifth cranial nerve) was not uncommon when TCE anaesthesia was given using CO2 absorbing systems. These nerve deficits could last for months. Occasionally, facial numbness was permanent.
The symptoms of acute exposure are similar to those of alcohol intoxication, often including headache, dizziness, and confusion, which worsen with increased exposure; this can later lead to unconsciousness, respiratory and circulatory depression, which can be fatal. Workplace exposure to trichloroethylene has been associated with toxic effects in the liver and kidney, and medical studies in rats and mice have shown it to be carcinogenic, causing liver and kidney cancers.
How Does it Happen?
Exposure to trichloroethylene is supposed to be controlled primarily with good ventilation, and the issue of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Unfortunately, some employers neglect to abide by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations or the Health and Safety at Work act, and so where the risks are known, but no protective measures are taken, the employer will be at fault. Where no protection is issued, employees are at risk of inhaling trichloroethylene, particularly where ventilation is poor.
What if I’ve Fallen Ill as a Result?
Most importantly, you should speak to a doctor if you haven’t already. Explain your occupational role to them, and any chemicals that you handle. A history of handling trichloroethylene will help them arrive at the correct diagnosis. Where testing indicates Trike poisoning, you should seek legal advice. Where the negligence of your employer can be proven, you can make a claim for TCE poisoning compensation.
If you do decide to make a claim for Trike poisoning compensation, you will need to act quickly. There are time limits in place for making claims of this kind, so you will need to seek legal advice as soon as you suspect negligence has had a negative impact on your health.
As soon as you involve us, our expert hazardous substance solicitors determine whether or not you have a valid claim. Where a trichloroethylene poisoning claim can be made, they will work diligently to identify the sources of exposure, so that we can warn authorities, preventing others from falling ill. Where trichloroethylene exposure can be linked with your health problems, we can establish a convincing claim that will compensate the suffering sustained.
Our Hazardous Substances Experience
If we find that a third party has been negligent in their responsibilities to protect you from trichloroethylene exposure, we can investigate. We will meticulously examine every aspect of your situation, from assessing health and safety practices at the workplace, to examining medical records. In doing this we can collect the required evidence to build a compelling case.
As part of our investigation we will assess the present impact on your health, and your life, examining any possible long-term consequences whether physical, emotional, or financial; so that we can assess any future needs or expenses. By working in this way we can work to acquire a compensation award that fairly reflects the damage and undue suffering that you have had to bear.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of expert solicitors have a wealth of expertise, and knowledge, that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. For free, expert advice on pursuing a trichloroethylene poisoning claim, speak to us today.