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Millions of Arizona residents are vulnerable to chemical leaks

Living or working in an area that is vulnerable to toxic chemical can be life-changing. Depending on the severity of a case, prolonged exposure to chemicals can cause an individual to develop a disease, be hospitalized, or even die. Toxic chemicals are dangerous in the workplace as well. Someone who is exposed to chemicals at work may be put out of commission for a long time to recuperate. If someone is injured on the job due to toxic exposure, their life and livelihood are in danger.

A new report says that 2.8 million Arizonans live and work in areas that are susceptible to toxic chemical leaks. That amounts to about 44 percent of the state's population. There are over 100 facilities housing hazardous chemicals that could cause extreme reactions like blindness, high levels of pain, and death. If hazardous chemicals are accidentally released, the radius of impact can balloon, possibly affecting far more Arizonans than we think. Some may find it comforting to know that these chemical storage units are required to create emergency plans and conduct risk assessments, but the most recent chemical leak occurred just last month when a pipe burst, exposing 12 people to toxic gas.

Those who are injured on the job, whether by exposure to chemicals, dangerous machinery, or excessive heights, deserve compensation. Compensation for an injury at work is important especially if someone has to spend a lengthy time in the hospital. An occupational disease can take many forms and can be caused by a variety of factors, but toxic exposure is almost always sure to cause some form of harm. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time and an industrial accident can hurt many employees. Workers' compensation can help pay for lost income and any medical expenses associated with a workplace accident.

Many Arizona residents can unknowingly be exposed to chemicals. Proper procedures at storage sites or industrial firms can help prevent exposure, but, sadly, many people are still at risk. Workers who are harmed by these dangerous materials should seek to recoup their damages while at the same time raising awareness of the situation. Filing a workers' compensation claim is a great way to achieve both goals.

Source: Arizona Capitol Times, "2.8 million Arizonans live within vulnerable zones from toxic chemical leaks," Brandon Quester, June 3, 2014

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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