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Do I have a dioxin poisoning claim?

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Howard Willis

Panel Solicitor

A guide to making a No Win No Fee dioxin poisoning claim

Dioxin poisoning is a recognised cause of industrial disease and of resulting claims for hazardous substances compensation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the most toxic form of dioxin as causing cancer, however comprehensive data on the harmful effects of many other compounds is not yet available.

Dioxin poisoning compensation claims and industry

When dioxins are ingested in small amounts, they are not considered to be harmful. However, if an employers negligence results in an employee being exposed to larger concentrations, serious illness can result.

Industrial sectors at risk of harmful dioxin exposure include:

  • People who work in paper mills
  • Those employed at water treatment plants
  • Employees of chemical manufacturing plants
  • People who work near industrial incinerators
  • Those whose work involves coming into contact with burning coal, oil or wood
  • Miners and people who work or live near mining activity
  • Recycling plant workers
  • Firefighters

How does poisoning occur?

Dioxin is an umbrella term for a group of 210 compounds that comprise similar structures. These structures are differentiated by the amount of chlorine in each molecule, and the positioning of the chlorine within that molecule.

The most poisonous dioxin is 2,3,7,8 -tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Dioxins are a by-product of some industrial processes, such as chlorine bleaching and drinking water treatments.

Longer term exposure

Dioxin poisoning can occur when harmful levels are swallowed or inhaled. Dioxins can also enter the bloodstream via skin contact, which is particularly relevant if you work in and around these chemicals.

Everyone is exposed to small levels of dioxins over the course of their lives, often with no ill effects. However, if your work or living environment results in prolonged exposure, toxicity can reach dangerous levels.

What are the symptoms of dioxin poisoning?

In the immediate aftermath of being exposed to harmful levels of dioxin, individuals may experience severe pain in the stomach and vomiting, and a general feeling of being unwell.

The most common indicator of dioxin poisoning is a condition known as 'chloracne'. Chloracne results in a break-out of lesions on the face and upper part of the body; and can include a rash, discoloured skin and an excess of body hair.

Dangerous levels of dioxin in the bloodstream can also cause deterioration of the kidneys. In addition, your immune system may be compromised, making you vulnerable to many kinds of illness and infection.

Male fertility can be affected by dioxin poisoning. There have been suggestions that harmful levels of dioxin can be attributed to some cancers, as a cumulative effect of exposure over time.

How much compensation can you claim?

In most cases, compensation can be claimed for illnesses that arise as a result of negligent exposure. Compensation awards and settlements will vary considerably depending on the resulting conditions, they long-term prognosis, and the impact the illness or illnesses have had on a Claimant's life.

As the calculation is based on these factors, a detailed medical report is necessary to support the claim and ensure that the maximum compensation is claimed. Your solicitor will assist with arranging an independent medical expert to produce a report.

How should the law protect you from dioxin poisoning?

The Control of Hazardous Substances to Health (COSHH) regulations are designed to protect the health of anyone who works with or around chemicals or materials that are potentially damaging. The law states that employers have a duty to ensure that staff who are exposed to such substances receive the most minimal levels possible, and that personal protective equipment should be used when needed.

Quittance's network of solicitors have assisted with claims for inadequate protective equipment and offer expert advice regarding potential claims.

Can you claim compensation for dioxin poisoning from an employer who is no longer in business?

It is possible to pursue a claim for compensation for dioxin poisoning even if the organisation responsible no longer exists. This can be done through the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO). Your solicitor can advise you on how to proceed in this circumstance and will handle correspondence with the ELTO.

Guaranteed No Win No Fee - Pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful

Typically a no win no fee contract (more correctly called a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is put in place between a claimant and a specialist injury solicitor.

A Conditional Fee Agreement is essentially the terms under which the solicitor is instructed by the claimant.

The CFA details what the solicitor will actually do and how he will be remunerated if the legal case is won.

If you use our solicitors for your dioxin poisoning claim there are absolutely no hidden costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket.

What should happen next?

Before you choose a solicitor arm yourself with information about the process. This can help you make the right choice for you.

If you need more information before picking up the phone, try our FAQ pages.

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To find out how much more of your compensation you could keep with Quittance's injury lawyers, compared with most other personal injury lawyers, get a personal injury quote here.

Get a injury claim started

Phone an expert on 0800 612 7456 (0333 344 6575 from mobiles) to make a injury claim. Alternatively, you can begin a injury claim here.

Do you have more questions? The Quittance team can help

If you would like more information about how much your claim could be worth before starting, request a callback at a time that suits you or contact on 0800 612 7456.