The American Cancer Society estimated that over 63,000 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2005. Of those diagnosed, over 13,000, or 20% died. The vast majority of people affected by bladder cancer are men, making up for nearly 75% of those diagnosed last year. These statistics are not surprising considering that cancer is second leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease. What is surprising, is the probability of bladder cancer being caused by a carcinogen (chemical) in the home or in the workplace.
Chemicals that Cause Bladder Cancer
The evidence linking chemical exposure to bladder cancer is strong and extensive. The most notable carcinogens linked to the disease include arsenic, chlorination by-products, tobacco smoke, solvents, auramine, magenta dye, chemicals that make up hair dyes and rubber, petrochemicals, combustion bi-products, coal tars, leather dusts, paints and inks. The type of workers who are at the most risk include metalworkers, machinists, printers, painters, truck drivers, hairdressers and all workers in the oil and gas, dry cleaning, chemical, textile, metal and leather industries.
Is Your Working Environment to Blame for Your Bladder Cancer?
According to the National Cancer Institute, 80% of all cancers are due to environmental factors. With this in mind, there is a distinct possibility that yourbladder cancer is related to your working or home environment. If you have been consistently exposed to chemicals such as the ones listed above and work in the industries most commonly associated with bladder cancer, you should research the possibility with the help of a professional.
The best way to begin your investigation is to make a list of the chemicals you are exposed to consistently and find out if they are scientifically linked to bladder cancer. If they are, you should contact an attorney who specializes in toxic tort litigation related to bladder cancer. He or she will discuss your situation with you in detail and decide whether you have a good chance of winning a lawsuit against your employer in court. If you do, the attorney will take your case and will not usually take a payment from you until the case has been won or settled out of court.
What Damages Can Be Recovered from My Employer?
If it can be proven in court that your bladder cancer is conclusively linked to the chemicals you work with, and that your employer acted negligently in exposing you to those chemicals, you may be eligible under law to sue for damages. Those damages include reimbursement for current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages and pain and suffering.
Are Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Easy to Win?
These cases are generally difficult to win, just as most cancer-related, personal injury cases tend to be. If you are a smoker or are exposed to bladder-causing chemicals outside of work for any reason, it could be very hard to prove that your work environment was the sole cause of your cancer. But, there have been cases won in court in the past. As early as 1985, a lawsuit was won against an agricultural and biotechnology company called the Monsanto Company. It was forced to pay its employee, John Hein, $200,000 when it was found that his bladder cancer was caused by a rubber additive he was exposed to for two years while working in their plant.