What is dioxin poisoning?
Find out more about dioxin poisioning and how to make a claim below. For more information about personal injury claims, see our full Resource Library
Dioxins are a class of chemical compounds which are known to be toxic. They are persistent environmental pollutants and can be harmful to humans. Dioxins are often produced by industrial manufacturing processes. They can be found in tiny amounts in our environment but as the quantities are so minute, they cause no effects to humans.
Dioxin poisoning can occur if an individual is exposed to dioxins, and symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. Poisoning can be sustained by inhaling dust, by ingesting dioxins orally and also by skin contact with the compounds.
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Who can get dioxin poisoning?
People who work in certain industries where dioxins are released during manufacturing processes are most at risk of developing dioxin poisoning.
- Dioxin poisoning is most likely to be contracted by:
- Individuals who work at paper or pulp mills
- Recycling plant workers
- People who work at water treatment facilities
- Employees whose workplace uses or manufactures pesticides
In addition to the occupations which are at risk of developing dioxin poisoning, it is also possible for the public to contract it from the environment where industrial waste has been disposed or incorrectly dumped in seas, rivers, landfill sites or into the air.
What are the symptoms of dioxin poisoning?
Some symptoms of dioxin poisoning develop immediately after being exposed to the compounds, however, others can develop over time.
Immediate dioxin poisoning symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain
Long term dioxin poisoning symptoms:
- Chloracne (a chronic skin condition which presents itself in acne-type lesions, rashes, skin discolouration and an increase in body hair)
- Metabolic disruption
- Hormonal imbalances
- Infertility (in men)
Typically, it is the long term symptoms of dioxin poisoning that are more serious. They can even become life threatening.
What should I do if I have dioxin poisoning?
If you believe that you have dioxin poisoning, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Tests will be performed which can show if there is the presence of dioxins in your bloodstream.
If you are diagnosed with dioxin poisoning, medical professionals will aim to reduce the amount of dioxins in your blood as well as repairing as much liver damage as possible and treating the skin condition.
Can dioxin poisoning be prevented?
There are ways in which dioxin poisoning can be prevented. It is the responsibility of an employer to make sure that safety practices are observed. It is also their responsibility to provide employees with adequate personal protective clothing and ensure that they are worn.
Can I make a claim for dioxin poisoning?
If you have been exposed to dioxins at your place of work and have become ill as a result, you may be entitled to make a claim.
The first step is for you to seek legal advice where a solicitor will advise you on how to proceed.
You should note that you will only be able to make a claim for compensation if it is provable that your illness was caused by exposure to dioxins and also that the exposure was due to negligence of someone else (or the company you work for), and not yourself.
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