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Toxic exposure affects people right down to their toenails

Health reports are abuzz with a recent incident of potential toxic exposure in New Jersey. Though the situation isn't taking place in Georgia, the environmental and health matter presents a point that's relevant everywhere: people's health is directly tied to the health of the environment around them.

Decades ago a manufacturing plant operated near what is now primarily a residential area. There was reportedly a spill and now scientists suspect that those who live in the neighborhood are suffering from health problems associated with the supposed chemical exposure.

Specifically, the Environmental Protection agency is going to drill in the residential area to determine the levels of hexavalent chromium in the soil of the town. About 3,600 people's health might be at risk due to suspected high levels of what is documented as a well-known carcinogen.

While drilling will be a crucial way to determine the toxicity threat, scientists have a different source of evidence that they will be collecting from at-risk residents. Toe nail clippings will actually serve a purpose by providing researchers with a way to determine the level of chromium surrounding the subjects and how much of the toxic chemical may be in their systems.

"It's just been left. A lot of people made mistakes," says an environmental professor behind the research. Thousands of lives and the overall well-being of the community where the manufacturing plant has stood depend on the handling of the factory and its mess. If parties neglected to properly maintain and clean up the site, those mistakes could potentially cost people their lives.

Our Atlanta lawyers help victims of chemical exposure. Such cases often involve various victims and lead to class-action toxic tort lawsuits.

Source: The Associated Press, "Toenails measure toxic exposure in Garfield, NJ," March 24, 2013

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