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Creosote Side Effects Can Be Linked To Liver Damage Lawsuits

Creosote | Lawyers, Lawsuits | Side Effects: Severe Skin Irritation, Chemical Burns, Convulsions, Mental Confusion, Kidney Problems, Liver Damage, Death

Creosote is a wood preservative used to treat railroad ties, telephone poles and many wood products. Creosote is obtained from high temperature distillation of coal tar which itself a mixture of hundreds of organic substances. It is used as a fungicide, insecticide, miticide, and sporicide to protect wood and is applied by pressure methods to wood products, primarily utility poles and railroad ties. Each year workers are exposed to high concentrations of creosote and may face serious health consequences.

Hazardous waste sites represent a major source of creosote, coal tar, and coal tar pitch contamination. Individuals working in the wood-preserving industry make up the largest part of the population who risk exposure to coal tar creosote. Individuals who live in areas formerly used as sites for wood-preserving facilities may face exposure if the soil was never cleaned up.

The most common way for creosote to enter the body when present in soils is through the skin. In addition, children may ingest creosote if they put their unwashed hands in their mouths after touching soil or wood contaminated with creosote. The most common way that creosote enters the body for individuals in the wood-preserving industry is through the lungs.

Asphalt workers; rubber, aluminum, iron, steel, and tire factory workers; and people working in the coke-producing industries also risk potential exposure to coal tar pitch and coal tar pitch volatiles. They may breathe in vapors from or have direct skin contact with wood-preservation solutions, freshly treated wood, asphalt mixtures, or other products of coke-producing industries. Workers who work with creosote-treated wood in building fences, bridges, or railroad tracks or installing telephone poles may face exposure.

Those who inspect or maintain these materials, or apply asphalt or other coal tar pitch-containing materials, also risk exposure. Creosotes and coal tar products can enter the body through the lungs, stomach, intestines, and skin. The amount that enters the body depends on the type of contact (via air, food, water, skin), how much of the mixture is present, and the length of exposure.

Exposure to creosotes, coal tar, coal tar pitch, or coal tar pitch volatiles may result in minor to serious health effects. Eating food or drinking water contaminated with a high level of these compounds may cause a burning in the mouth and throat as well as stomach pain. Taking herbal remedies containing creosote bush leaves may result in damage to the liver or kidney. Reports describing poisoning in workers exposed to coal tar creosote, or in people who accidentally or intentionally ate coal tar creosote indicate that brief exposure to large amounts of coal tar creosote may result in a rash or severe irritation of the skin, chemical burns of the surfaces of the eye, convulsions and mental confusion, kidney or liver problems, unconsciousness, or even death.

Longer exposures to the vapors of the creosotes, coal tar, coal tar pitch, or coal tar pitch volatiles can also cause irritation of the respiratory tract. Skin cancer and cancer of the scrotum have also resulted from long exposure to low levels of these chemical mixtures, especially through direct contact with the skin during wood treatment or manufacture of coal tar creosote-treated products, or in coke or natural gas factories. Prolonged skin exposure to soot and coal tar creosote has been associated with cancer of the scrotum in chimney sweeps.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Creosote

If you or a loved one suffered side effects and injuries from Creosote, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified pollutants attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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DeSoto County Residents Sue CSX Over Contaminants

Dec 16, 2004 | AP
Eight residents of A small southwest Florida community sued CSX Transportation Corp. Thursday, alleging a company facility that treated lumber with preservatives released cancer-causing contaminants into the air, soil and groundwater.The $500 million lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in DeSoto County alleged negligence and claimed the site was a public nuisance. The plaintiffs said in the lawsuit that they and their relatives have either suffered cancer or a decline in property value because of...

Wood Pesticide Still Used Despite Hazards

Jun 9, 2004 | Scripps Howard News Service
The hazards of human exposure to the popular wood preservative known as creosote from skin rashes to lung cancer are well known to government regulators and scientists. The federal Environmental Protection Agency recognized creosote's perils in 1978, announcing its intention to phase out the coal-derived preservative's required registration. That was more than 200 years after London physician Percival Pott's ground-breaking discovery of high cancer rates among British men who cleaned soot from...

Judge Rejects Collier Companies' Bid To Toss Creosote Lawsuits

Jun 5, 2004 | Naples Daily News
For the second time in six months, a Collier County judge has rejected requests by two Collier family businesses to dismiss a cluster of lawsuits over tainted creosote water in the old mill town of Jerome. On Friday, Circuit Judge Ted Brousseau denied a motion by Collier Enterprises Inc. and Collier Development Corp. to toss out 50 separate lawsuits filed by current and former Jerome residents, mill workers and their descendants. The plaintiffs allege that the two businesses and their corporate...

Chimneys Should Be Clean

Feb 10, 2004 | Contra Costa Times
Fires that ignited last weekend in Shawnee County flues or fireplaces spread to damage a house. Firefighters say the blazes illustrate why people with chimneys need to keep them clean, particularly in the winter.The extra cold weather puts a lot more heat up that chimney flue," said Topeka firefighter Dennis Bowser, who also owns and operates Countryside Chimney Sweep. "If people didn't get their chimneys cleaned in the fall before they started firing them up, then excessive build-up of...

Wood Stove Blamed In Fire That Killed 3

Jan 27, 2004 | Pioneer Planet
A buildup of creosote in a wood-burning stove apparently caused the fire early Sunday that killed three boys in Princeton, Minn., the fire chief reported Monday.When creosote from previous fires builds up inside a chimney, it clogs the chimney and can often cause the flue to get so hot it sets walls on fire, Princeton Fire Chief Ritz Villebrun said."At this time of year, when people stock the wood stoves, they normally don't clean their chimneys good enough," Villebrun said. "They use them over...

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