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Oil companies accused of toxic exposure due to diluted product

Oil runs more than just the cars that we drive. It is used to heat buildings, including the buildings that some residents live in or where kids attend school. When the matter is heated what is put in the air might be invisible to the naked eye, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't impact people's health.

This is particularly true if heating oil is not comprised of what it is supposed to be according to environmental safety standards. In an out-of-state case, officials are currently investigating oil suppliers responsible for much of the building heating in New York's metropolitan area. There's suspicion that the heating oil that the companies are supplying is unsafe.

The New York Times reports that not only is there a criminal investigation into the possible wrongdoing of the oil suppliers, but there is the potential for a toxic tort as well. Allegations claim that the businesses provided oil that was diluted with waste oil. If misused, waste oil can pose significant health risks.

When waste oil is used to heat public buildings where people live or regularly spend time, those people are breathing in toxic fumes. They wouldn't be able to know that they are victims of toxic exposure by smell or sight, but some who are victims of the exposure possibly suffer from health problems. Even if they aren't suffering yet, the mere threat of a future ailment because of the toxic exposure is enough to make a person speak up.

Two different plaintiffs have filed civil lawsuits against Hess Corp. and Castle Oil Corp. in relation to the suspected cutting of oil with waste oil. Details of their cases are undisclosed at this point.

Buildings throughout the entire country, including in Georgia, rely on oil for heat. While this specific story isn't out of Georgia, the safety issue is important for people everywhere to understand. Our environmental lawyers help those who believe that exposure to a toxic substance has caused them injury or illness.

Source: UPI, "Heating oil firms deny diluting product," March 20, 2013

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