The environment today contains a copious amount of toxic substances which are known to cause neurological damage. Toxic exposure from these substances in large amounts in the short term, or small amounts in the long term, can cause damage to the brain. Some of these occur naturally and some are man-made. They are present in the form of metals, gases, and chemical compounds.
There are many different metals that are known to cause brain damage. Some of these were used for decades in manufacturing before they were identified as toxic. People are still being exposed to them today without being aware.
- Lead – In the news recently, was the City of Flint, Michigan whose water supply was contaminated by lead originating in old water pipes. Lead was also used in paint. Lead poisoning is most common among children who are exposed to lead based paint in older homes. Some children even eat paint chips containing lead. The neurological issues that occur from lead poisoning include wrist and foot drop, stunted brain development, diminished motor skills and strength. Blood tests can detect the levels or lead poisoning in the bloodstream.
- Mercury – Mercury can be found in foods, water and some other sources. It was used in dental fillings in the 20th century and in the manufacture of thermometers. Mercury is hazardous in its elemental form as well as in compounds. Mercury affects the basal ganglia as well as the visual areas of the occipital lobe, involving the cerebellum. Toxic exposure symptoms include breathing problems, motor slowing tremor, and short term memory loss. In addition to severe brain damage, mercury can affect the kidneys, central nervous system, the endocrine system and many internal organs. Anyone exposed to mercury, even in small quantities, should seek medical attention immediately. Levels can be detected by urinalysis.
- Manganese – Toxic exposure to manganese over a long period of time can have a severe effect on a person’s body movements. Manganese can be found in foods and water. Although uncommon, brain injury from manganese can result in drowsiness, clumsiness, dizziness, tremors as well as learning difficulties. Another side effect is sleep disturbance and nightmares. Manganese poisoning usually occurs in workers exposed over a long time period.
Complex organic compounds found in paints, thinners and glues can cause neurological impairments. Toxic exposure to toluene from contact or fume inhalation can lead to many neurological problems such as dementia, headaches, brain atrophy and coordination issues. In addition toxic exposure to toluene may cause headaches, dizziness, mental fatigue and confusion. Much exposure and resulting brain damage to toluene and other toxic solvents is from substance abuse. The fumes are deliberately inhaled to get high in a practice known as huffing. The practice has been linked to emotional problems such as depression, social withdrawal and even Alzheimer’s Syndrome.
A common cause of neurological damage in the US is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO2) can quickly be fatal in large doses. People do not know when they are breathing this colorless, odorless gas until they notice symptoms. Those that are fortunate to survive may suffer from learning difficulty, diminished mental abilities, and other neurological damage associated with a lack of oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by defective heating systems, motor vehicle exhaust, improperly ventilated wood, and coal and charcoal fires. All building should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Vehicle motors should never be allowed to run in a closed garage and outdoor grill should remain outdoors where they belong. One warning sign of long term carbon monoxide poisoning is abnormally rosy cheeks.
A great percentage of brain damage from toxic substances is the result of carelessness but some are the result of negligence. If a person is sleeping in a motel room it should have a carbon monoxide detector and an inspected heating system. The water system where you live is assumed to be safe without the presence of lead mercury or solvents. Lead paint should be remediated before an apartment or home can be occupied. Solvents should not be used on the job without proper ventilation and protective wear. These are just a few examples where negligence can lead to neurological damage from toxic substances.
If you or a loved one suffered apparent brain damage from exposure to toxicity from carbon monoxide, lead, mercury, solvents or any other know toxic substance you need to speak with an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to a cash award for medical expenses, rehabilitation, job retraining, loss of income, emotional and physical pain and suffering.
If you or someone you care about was poisoned due to negligence contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and speak with an experienced brain injury attorney. There is no cost or obligation and your consultation will be strictly confidential. Call us today at (727) 222-6922.
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