Toxic Torts Overview

A tort is defined as a private or civil wrong or injury. Therefore, a toxic tort means that the injury involved a poisonous or toxic substance. These toxic substances can cause damage to a person or to property as they are released into the air, ground, or water.

Exposure to these toxic substances is frequently linked to various types of cancer (lung cancer, stomach cancer, leukemia, etc.), as well as brain damage, other organ damage, and birth defects. Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. vigorously pursues cases in many areas of toxic litigation.

The following toxicants and chemicals are often associated with toxic tort litigation.

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Asbestos fibers accumulate in the lungs, and sometimes elsewhere, causing cancer and numerous other types of diseases.


Polychlorinated biphenyls are manufactured organic chemicals that can accumulate in the body in a number of different ways and cause cancer. PCBs can also lead to problems with the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system, and other systems in the human body.


Dioxins are formed as an unintentional by-product of many industrial processes and have been described by the EPA as a serious public health threat and cancer hazard.

Coke Oven Emissions

Coke oven emissions are a complex mixture of coal, coke, vapor, gas, and tar particles. These emissions cause conjunctivitis, severe dermatitis, respiratory and digestive issues, as well as cancers of the lung, trachea, bronchus, kidney, prostate, and others.


Benzene emissions result from the burning of coal and oil, and from motor vehicle exhaust. Long-term exposure may result in blood disorders and negative reproductive effects.


Creosote is a mixture of wood creosote and coal tars. Creosote vapors can cause irritation to the respiratory tract, skin cancer, and other types of cancers.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is an industrial chemical used to create plastics. Vinyl chloride causes severe skin conditions, harmful effects to the nervous, circulatory, and reproductive systems, as well as unique blood disorders and cancers.


MTBE is a gasoline additive and industrial solvent which carries significant cancer and non-cancer risks.


TCE is an industrial solvent that can cause symptoms similar to alcohol intoxication, in that it depresses the central nervous system, sometimes leading to unconsciousness and even death.

Heavy Metals

Lead and mercury can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or ingested. Both can cause kidney damage, brain damage, reproductive problems, and child development issues.