Accidents can happen at any workplace, but construction sites have particularly serious safety hazards. In addition to working with heavy equipment in unfinished buildings, construction workers may sometimes come into contact with toxic chemicals.
Asbestos and formaldehyde
Asbestos is a common hazard for construction workers. It can be found in walls, ceiling tiles, adhesive, insulation and in other products. If asbestos is disturbed and a person inhales it, he or she can suffer from serious respiratory issues. Construction workers may be unaware that symptoms from asbestos exposure may not develop for many years.
Formaldehyde is used in building materials and products and can be present both indoors and outside. In home construction, this substance is often found in pressed wood products, adhesives and resins. Like asbestos, formaldehyde can also cause respiratory problems. It can cause a person’s eyes to water, can cause a burning sensation, upset stomach and breathing difficulty.
Phthalates and PBDEs
Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible. They are used in carpet backing, roofing, electric cord insulation and in other common building materials such as ceiling textiles and waterproofing materials. They can impact the human hormone system.
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers are used to control flames and can be found in insulation. It can appear in dust and may cause liver, thyroid and developmental problems.
It’s important that construction workers have a safe working environment. If a worker has been exposed to toxic chemicals or has suffered another construction injury, an experienced attorney can pursue a claim for compensation on his or her behalf.