People who were exposed to vinyl chloride monomer, a compound used to manufacture PVC pipe, have developed a rare form of cancer called angiosarcoma of the liver.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you got cancer or suffered other health effects from vinyl chloride exposure, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
The link between vinyl chloride and cancer was first identified in the late 1960s, when large numbers of workers in plastic and rubber factories were diagnosed with liver angiosarcoma and other types of cancer. In most cases, these diseases occurred in people who worked for many years in settings which exposed them to high levels of vinyl chloride monomer.
What is Vinyl Chloride Monomer?
Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is a synthetic colorless gas that burns easily and is unstable at high temperatures. VCM does not occur naturally, and must be produced by breaking down various other substances, gases and chemicals. Vinyl chloride monomer is used to make polyvinyl chloride, which is then used to manufacture a spectrum of plastic products and related materials.
Vinyl Chloride Health Effects
Long-term exposure to vinyl chloride monomer has been linked to the following adverse health conditions:
- Liver cancer (angiosarcoma of the liver)
- Liver disease
- Brain cancer
- Blood and bone marrow cancers
- Vinyl chloride disease
- Raynaud's syndrome
- Inhibition of blood clotting
- Joint and muscle pain
- Skin changes (thickening of the skin, decreased elasticity, edema)
- Central nervous system (CNS) effects
- Nerve damage
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Kidney disease
- Immune system reactions
- Reproductive / developmental effects
- Birth defects
- Loss of sex drive in men
- High blood pressure
- And more
Vinyl Chloride Studies
The following studies have linked inhaled vinyl chloride to angiosarcoma of the liver:
- A study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences in 2014 found that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in PVC plastic products rapidly evaporate. This results in hazardous gases entering the ecosystem and an increased risk for cancer in humans and other animals.
- Study conducted by the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Center in 1987 identified several cases of hepatic angiosarcoma (HAS) at a PVC production facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Researchers found the relative risk for HAS at the plant to be approximately 5,000, strongly indicating a causal link between vinyl chloride and angiosarcoma.
- In July 2005, a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives described how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had downplayed the cancer risk with vinyl chloride after collaborating with the chemical industry. The researchers suggested this behavior reflects discredited scientific practices and recommended that EPA reverse its trend of being influenced by regulated industries when generating scientific reviews and risk assessments.
- Case Study for Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) found that chronic, low-level vinyl chloride exposure may cause angiosarcoma of the liver. At high doses, hepatic cells may die rather than transform, resulting in chronic liver disease, according to the researchers.
How Much Does it Cost to File a Claim?
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, our attorney client relationships are based on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients do not have to pay any out of pocket costs for the legal work we perform in their behalf. Once there is a resolution of the case our law firm will take a percentage of the settlement amount as restitution for the legal work performed. Our law firm assumes all the risks of litigation – meaning that if there is no resolution of your case you do not have to pay us anything.
Need More Info?
If you'd like to learn more about vinyl chloride monomer litigation and health effects, please visit our vinyl chloride FAQ page.
Do I Have a Vinyl Chloride Lawsuit?
The Workplace and Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in vinyl chloride monomer lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new toxic exposure cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were exposed to vinyl chloride monomer are were diagnosed with cancer or suffered other health effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.