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WTC Victims

New Yorkers Burdened by Toxic Chemicals

March 13, 2014 | Michael Barasch

General Electric Company (GE) is accused of understating the damage done by its dumping of toxic chemicals in New York’s Hudson River. Over a 30-year period, GE dumped chemicals in an area about 150 miles north of New York City. Dumping of the chemicals was discontinued in 1977 and since then GE has spent more than $1 billion in efforts to clean up the mess. The Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing current cleanup efforts. 

Despite the cleanup, Federal Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees allege that GE failed to adequately mention environmental harm done to fish, waterfowl and groundwater by the toxic chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Studies by the EPA also show that PCBs may cause serious toxic exposure injuries to people who live near hazardous waste sites, consume contaminated fish or game animals, breathe PCBs in the air, or drink contaminated well water. Eating contaminated fish is the most common source of exposure, and the EPA estimates a cancer risk as high as one in 1,000 for people eating fish from the upper Hudson River. Studies suggest exposure to PCBs may cause serious health effects, including: 

  • Cancer
  • Immune system injuries
  • Reproductive system injuries
  • Nervous system injuries
  • Endocrine system injuries 

Unfortunately, GE’s chemical dumping is not the only notorious case of toxic exposure New Yorkers have had to face in the last decade. The serious adverse effects of the toxic dust cloud on first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, including cancer, sarcoidosis, asthma and acute bronchitis, are still surfacing. If you or someone you love is experiencing the severe, harmful effects of toxic exposure, an experienced New York attorney may be able to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to receive.

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