Aug 5, 2013

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Environmental Effects of BP Oil Spill Equals Economic Damages

A majority of the livelihood in the coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico is primarily marine-based. So much so that when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the water, economic activity came to a screeching halt. Amongst the most affected were oyster farmers, shrimpers, crab fishermen, and those engaged in recreational and sport fishing.

One of the biggest problems with the accident aside from the oil itself, was that when the dispersant was used by BP to control the spill, it was spawning season for blue fin tuna, a major component in the area’s seafood industry. Experts state that because tuna takes a minimum of five years to mature, there may not be any tuna on the Gulf in five years. Put this together with poor showing in the shrimping and crabbing sectors, and it could well mean that the fishing industry may no longer be a sustainable industry.

All formerly closed fishing areas have been opened even though tar balls are still being found along the coast. Recent reports on the levels of toxic chemicals found in seafood from the coast show that they are relatively safe to eat. There are toxins present, but they are at allowable levels with reasonable consumption. This is hardly something that would encourage people to eat them, however.

This frustrating state of affairs is something that locals in the Gulf of Mexico coastal towns have been living with for more than three years.  Despite massive efforts at clean-up and promotion of businesses in the area, the economic damages have been so extensive that it is difficult to contain.

Individuals should certainly exercise their right to sue BP and their partners in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, but it will not be an easy matter without the help of experienced legal assistance. Big businesses are notorious for minimizing their exposure, and will not make it easy for anyone to recover for economic damages.

Make sure that you find a law firm which has handled similar cases before if you plan to make an economic damages claim for the BP oil spill. The lawyer who will be assigned to you should have the necessary knowledge for negotiating claims with big businesses like BP.

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Jun 24, 2013

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Why PCBs are considered Dangerous Substances

While pharmaceutical product lawsuits are on the rise due to the bevy of defective products in the market, certain toxic substances continue to harm innocent people.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic odorless and tasteless compounds that were widely used in the prior to being banned in 1979. Their commercial applications included many household items and products including kitchen appliances that use transformers and capacitors, fluorescent light ballasts, oil-based paints, motor and hydraulic, adhesives, cements, even carbonless paper. PCBs are considered dangerous substances because they present serious health hazards to humans and they are persistent in nature.

PCBs are extremely stable compounds that have low flammability and high electrical insulation, which make them ideal for industrial and commercial use. However, these same properties that make them desirable also make them extremely difficult to dispose of safely. They do not readily oxidize or decompose in nature, which is why they were used so extensively in the past. PCBs are not easily destroyed even with the use of biochemical, thermal and chemical methods, and even when they are destroyed, they can persist in the air, water, and soil for up to 15 years.

PCBs are considered environmentally toxic and dangerous substances because of the causal link with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in humans after long-term exposure. Other health effects include disfiguring dermatitis, problems with the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as the immune and reproductive systems. Prolonged exposure can also lead to respiratory problems, nausea, anorexia, gastrointestinal distress and eye irritation. Children exposed to PCBs in utero may also experience developmental problems.

The main reason PCBs are considered dangerous substances is because it is insidious. It is present in drinking water, in the soil and air in populated areas. Fish and plants may also accumulate PCBs, which serves as source of oral PCB when they are eaten by humans.

It is extremely difficult to avoid PCB exposure altogether, but in general the exposure is below toxic levels. If you suddenly begin experiencing symptoms of acute and prolonged PCB exposure, it may be because of illegal dumping or improper destruction of PCB material in your immediate vicinity. These dangerous substances can lead to significant health problems for you and your family, so it would be in your best interest to investigate the source of exposure. If you believe that there is negligence involved, contact a toxic substances lawyer who will know how to set about proving your suspicion.

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