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When to Sue for Formaldehyde Injuries

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

As the worsening Lumber Liquidators scandal has shown, you can find dangerous levels of formaldehyde in some weird places. The CDC warns that exposure to formaldehyde can irritate your airways, causing a sore throat, scratchy eyes, and nosebleeds, may exacerbate existing breathing conditions, and has been known to cause cancer.

Along with avoiding laminated flooring from Lumber Liquidators, here are some other places to be on the lookout for formaldehyde, and whether you can sue if you've suffered adverse health effects from formaldehyde exposure.

The Nail Salon

A 2012 study by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control found formaldehyde or other carcinogens like toluene and dibutyl phthalatein in 12 nail products that claim to be free of toxic substances. These chemicals have been linked to an increased rate of cancer and birth defects, and many salon workers have been injured by long hours of exposure to the products.

The Hair Salon

Brazilian Blowouts look great, but they can be unsafe to both customers and salon workers. It turns out the treatment can create dangerous levels of formaldehyde -- 80 to 100 times the limit for having an occupational hazard sign. Fashion-conscious men and women getting Brazilian Blowouts could've increased their risk of leukemia, lymphoma, and brain cancer.

The Bath

Sadly, formaldehyde has even been found in children's bath products including soaps, lotions, shampoos, and bubble baths. Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Baby Magic "Soft Baby Scent" Baby Lotion, Bath & Bodyworks' American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gels, and even Dora the Explorer Bubble Bath all tested positive for formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane, which can also cause cancer.

The Solution

The manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and users of products containing dangerous level of formaldehyde may be liable for injuries to their employees or other third parties. You could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer for creating an unreasonably dangerous product, or a negligence claim if a business or third party should have been aware of a formaldehyde risk. And if you were exposed to formaldehyde at work, you may have a workers' compensation claim.

Figuring out which lawsuit, if any, is right for you and when to sue, if ever, for formaldehyde injuries can be complicated. You may want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney first.

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