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Will the risk of chemical exposure by children increase?

The Environmental Protection Agency exists to help ensure that everyone, including children, has access to clean water and fresh air. It enforces regulations and laws designed to reduce the potential for chemical exposure through the water supply and air whether here in Georgia or elsewhere. However, recent changes made by the current head of the agency could put children more at risk.

For instance, previous restrictions regarding the amount of mercury, lead and other toxic metals in the water supply were scaled back. This means that industrial facilities may be letting more of these harmful materials into the waterways. Children in particular are vulnerable to the effects of these toxic metals and could suffer from developmental delays and behavioral issues.

Pollutants in the air could increase as well. This puts many children at risk for developing environmentally induced asthma. Children tend to be outside more than adults and breathe faster than adults, which means they could inhale more soot or smog pollutants than adults.

Making matters worse is the fact that their lungs are still developing and could suffer lifelong damage. Children today are exposed to many more chemicals than their parents or grandparents ever were in their youths. It could be some years before the extent of the effects on their health are fully known.

Georgia parents who believe their children suffered damaging chemical exposure due to industrial waste in the water or air may be able to take legal action. These types of cases are often a challenge, so it would not be advisable to go through it alone. An attorney who understands environmental laws and the complexities of toxic torts could prove invaluable in any effort to recover restitution.

Source: americanprogress.org, "5 Recent Environmental Safety Changes Threatening Children's Health", Cristina Novoa and Claire Moser, March 29, 2018

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