Dangerous Products

What you need to know when you see asbestos in your home or work

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber found on the surface of the Earth. These durable, heat-resistant fibers were used for insulation in many commercial and residential houses until after scientists discovered toxicity associated with inhaling or ingesting the material. Although asbestos use has been banned for many years in the building and construction industry (many are using fiberglass as an alternative), industries such as shipyard and automotive are still enjoying the benefits of these highly toxic fibers.

Houston personal injury lawyers would probably say that inadvertent exposure to asbestos may result in life-changing chronic illnesses, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Whether you are an employee working in a shipyard or a homeowner living in a house constructed before the 70s, protecting yourself from these harmful fibers is a must. To protect yourself better, here are the things that you should and should not do when you see asbestos:

If you see asbestos in your property/workplace, never:

  • Use power tools to drill, sand, or saw the asbestos-containing material. Doing so would disturb the fiber, making it become airborne
  • Remove asbestos alone. Removing asbestos requires skills and experience by asbestos removal experts. Seek professional help always
  • Vacuum or sweep asbestos-containing debris. Again, this is a work that should be done by asbestos professionals

If you see asbestos in your workplace/home, remember these safety tips:

  • If at work, report asbestos occurrence to your immediate supervisor. If at home, contact your local council or an asbestos removalist for assessment and decontamination
  • Wear mask and other protective equipment until after cleanup to prevent asbestos exposure
  • You may also consider washing your hands, face, or taking a shower
  • All apparels (boots hand gloves etc.) should be placed inside an asbestos waste bag to prevent air contamination
  • Surfaces suspected to be contaminated with asbestos fibers should be wiped down with clean, damp rag. DO NOT sweep or vacuum the surfaces, as it may contaminate the air
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Zofran and Birth Defects

Zofran is a drug that was created to help cancer patients manage their nausea during treatments, and to help alleviate nausea in patients recovering after surgery. However, it began being prescribed by doctors for expectant mothers suffering from aggressive morning sickness that was not responding to other remedies. Unfortunately, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, there have been connections between Zofran and birth defects.

Heart defects, cleft palates, and cleft lips are the most common defects associated with Zofran but are not the only ones. Heart defects can be minor and heal on their own in infancy or childhood, but if they are not able to heal, they must be monitored to prevent serious harm and treatment may be required. Moderate heart defects can lead to more serious heart and lung problems in the future. Cleft lips and palates have similar effects. Both cause discomfort for the child, make it difficult for them to feed properly, negatively affect their speech development, and can even affect their oral health and tooth development. Cleft lip and palate can only be corrected through surgery in very early childhood and may require more surgeries later in life.

The manufacturers of Zofran did not conduct proper research before marketing the drug as safe for expectant mothers. The connection between Zofran and birth defects are still unclear and studies vary widely in their conclusions on its use. However, the FDA has announced a warning against its use by expectant mothers. Many doctors are still prescribing the drug to their patients anyway, and many mothers still have healthy babies despite using the drug during pregnancy. But for those mothers whose babies develop a defect because of its use, suffering could have been avoided with proper research and warnings.

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Defective Hip Implants Settlement Program is just the Beginning

The makers of defective hip implants that catastrophically failed and increased the risk of metallosis in patients announced established a settlement program to address civil complaints against the defective products.

It is estimated that Stryker and Howmedica Osteonics will be paying about $1.4 billion to patients who qualify under the program. The base compensation for each patient is $300,000, which may be higher depending on the extent of the damage and the consequences to the patient and other family members. The announcement was made on November 4, 2014. The deadline for registration to participate in the program was set for December 14, 2014.

The defective products in this landmark settlement program are the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip replacement devices. The initial recall was made in the first half of 2012 when numerous reports of adverse events started pouring in from patients that required revision or replacement surgery, or suffered significant pain and problems caused by the implants. The manufacturers are under the hammer for defect in design and failing to carry out adequate testing to ensure the safety of their patients.

According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, it may be too late to participate in the settlement program, but patients implanted with either device may still be eligible to file a defective medical device lawsuit against the manufacturers. Patients react differently under the same circumstances, and some may have a delayed reaction to the devices. Those that have begun exhibiting the following symptoms of metallosis after the deadline for registration has passed may still make a claim:

  • Breathlessness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of hearing
  • Pain in the groin area
  • Poor memory
  • Rashes

You should act on this right away before you develop complications. Have your doctor check on you, and consult with a defective hip implant lawyer in your state for assistance. Your journey is just beginning.

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