What is trichloroethylene?
Trichloroethylene (“TCE”) is a toxic, industrial solvent used mainly as a metal degreaser. It is a potent central nervous system depressant which can cause severe neurological symptoms such as dizziness, loss of appetite and loss of motor coordination. It produces liver damage at certain levels and causes cell mutations and a variety of cancers. The National Toxicology Program determined that TCE is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” and the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded TCE is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Where is trichloroethylene used?
More than 300 million pounds of TCE are produced every year in the United States. Some people are unknowingly working or attending school at facilities where TCE was used as an industrial solvent. Due to concerns about its toxicity, the use of TCE in the food and pharmaceutical industries has been banned in much of the world since the 1970s. The U.S. Military has virtually eliminated its use of the chemical, purchasing only 11 gallons in 2005.
Marine Corp base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may be the largest TCE contamination site in the country. For over twenty years of operation, it was reported that RCA Corporation had dumped chlorinated organic solvents into a well in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. High levels of TCE were found in the groundwater drawn as far as two kilomaters from the site. There were reports of more than a thousand cases of cancer among an organization of former RCA employees in the area.
In 2012, families in an area outside of Stony Hill Road, North Carolina learned they were drinking, bathing, and cooking contaminated TCE as authorities failed to follow up on a spread of TCE.
Finally, here is New York, Public School 51 (formerly located at 3200 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY and called the “Bronx New School”) was found to be contaminated with high levels of various toxic chemicals, including TCE. The TCE levels found in the first floor cafeteria of the school building were over 10,000 times greater than the New York State Department of Health Air Guideline Value. The school was shuttered after remediation efforts could not deem the building safe for children and teachers.
Do I have a claim from exposure to TCE?
Harford, P.C. is now accepting cases from all 50 states. If you or someone you know was injured from exposure to TCE, please contact us immediately at (212) 390-8983 for a free case consultation. You may also complete the form on the side menu and we will contact you to set up a consultation.