ERNST & YOUNG
What causes gas contamination in the Maryland environment in the air and water?
Many have been affected, and in one case, attorneys in Baltimore County, Maryland, handled litigation related to the largest release of gasoline from a retail station ever in the United States. Eighty-eight families in Jacksonville, Maryland had their private wells contaminated with harmful gasoline byproducts, such as MTBE. A total of 150 million dollars was awarded to the plaintiffs.
Gasoline can enter groundwater and soil because of the improper disposal of gas or leaks and spills. The gasoline can also enter through pipelines or underground storage tanks. In addition, it can enter the air when large tanker trucks are emptied and filled. Gasoline contamination in Maryland can even be caused when customers put gas in their tanks.
If you have ever wondered how you can be exposed to gas contamination, there are many ways. If you breathe gas or drink water which has been contaminated by the fuel, touch soil or water which has been contaminated with gas, or touch the gasoline yourself, you can be exposed.
People most often are exposed by breathing vapors when filling their car with gasoline. Gas vapors are present many times in the atmosphere when the fuel seeps out of contaminated water or soil. Vapors can be found in living areas in houses, basements, and crawlspaces.
Although most chemicals in gas are removed when water is treated, those who drink water which has not been treated or is from private wells are at risk. Gasoline entering the ground can contaminate drinking water. A person’s skin can be exposed when he pumps gasoline or cleans a gas spill.
What are the health effects of gasoline exposure?
Breathing tiny amounts of gas can cause nausea, headaches, throat and nose irritation, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, and breathing problems. Skin contact with gasoline can result in swelling, redness, and rashes. Exposure can even lead to death or a coma.
Medical experts do not know the long term health effects of exposure. Some workers who have been exposed daily have lost their memory and the ability to control their muscles. Exposure to some chemicals in gas, such as benzene, can lead to cancer.
The case of the families affected by the release of gas from the retail station shows the liability of those who cause exposure.
Contact our Maryland law firm today for your free consultation to see if Gas Contamination affected you.
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