Chemical eye injuries can be permanent and life-altering. Sight is a fundamental part of everyday life, almost every activity relies upon it, but the human eye is a delicate part of the body. Among ocular traumas, approximately 18% are the result of chemical substances. A lot of these injuries happen in the workplace, but they can also occur at home being mostly caused by dangerous cleaning products or other household items. This type of injury presents a serious health issue that can result in a complete loss of eyesight. Considering the nature of this injury, fast intervention provides the best possible outcome. Personal injury cases for these types of injuries often involve unique legal challenges, but we can help you.
Chemical Injuries to the Eyes
Getting suddenly sprayed or splashed in the eye by substances other than clean, harmless water can be dangerous. Some substances may burn or sting but are quite harmless in the long run, while others can cause serious injuries. Depending on the substance, the effects of chemical exposures causing eye injuries can range from:
- Minor irritation
- Red eyes
- Serious eye damage
The elementary makeup of the chemical involved can make a lot of difference, such as:
- Acids generally affect only the surface of the eye (pH value less than 7) as they do not penetrate the tissue as easily. Neutral (pH value of 7) substances are classified as irritants because they generally do not cause permanent damage to the eye. They can be found in car batteries, most detergents, and other cleaning products as well as pepper spray.
- Alkali burns are the most dangerous (chemical substances with a pH value greater than 7); they inflict damage by penetrating the surface tissue and cause real damage to both internal and external structures. Alkali can be found in fertilizers and drain cleaners.
Chemical exposures and burns can be caused in several ways, such as:
- By a splash of liquid getting in your eye
- By rubbing your eyes and transferring a chemical from your hands to your eyes
- By getting sprayed in the eye by aerosols
What Are Common Causes of Chemical Eye Injuries?
Common products causing chemical injuries at home include, but are not limited to:
- Regular household cleaners
In agricultural environments, substances that can cause possible eye damage include fertilizers or pesticides. In industry, there is a wide variety of chemicals and solvents regularly used that are harmful to the eye. Dangerous chemicals are being regularly used in all industries such as manufacturing, laboratories, mining, construction, agriculture, and cleaning. However, if the appropriate safety and health regulations are respected, the risks should be minimized.
The severity of an injury is influenced by various factors, such as:
- The concentration of the solution
- Duration of direct exposure
Direct contact with the outer surface causes most burns, but chemicals can also affect ocular tissue through the skin, lungs, or digestive tract absorption.
What to Do in Case of Chemical Substances Exposure
If the chemical is an irritant and:
- The symptoms are only minor or nonexistent: you may monitor your condition at home, but make sure you ask your ophthalmologist for advice first
- The symptoms get worse: call your doctor to arrange a meeting for that day or go to the Emergency Room. All burns caused by acid or alkali agents require a fast intervention and evaluation by a doctor.
If you are unsure about the type of substance that you have been exposed to, and the accident that happened at the workplace, all industries are required to keep a Materials Safety Data Sheet on any chemicals being used. Find this information and take it with you.
People Who Suffer Vision Loss Due to Chemicals May Proceed With Product Injury Claims
All industry institutions that work with harmful chemicals are required to have certain health and safety procedures. If an employee suffers injuries as a result of exposure to those chemicals, the employer could be held responsible and deemed negligent if the necessary regulations were not in place.
Employers must provide proper and adequate means for employees to carry out their work. This includes:
- Providing safe systems of work
- Maintaining safe machinery and equipment
- Providing employees with adequate:
A Miami Defective Product Attorney Can Help You Rebuild Your Life
As with any claim, presenting a case for chemical burn compensation requires establishing liability. Valuable sources for evidence include:
- Medical reports
- Accident book reports
- Witness accounts
In all cases, medical insurance should cover all hospitalization costs and treatment bills. However, chemical burns can create long-term problems, possibly leaving the sufferer in an inability to work or conduct day-by-day activities, as such, receiving the best possible compensation is essential.
Please call our Miami-based attorney today if you suffered a chemical-related accident caused by a product malfunction or employer negligence and find out if you are entitled to claim compensation. Sean Cleary is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group of top-rated US trial lawyers with multi-million dollar settlements and case verdicts for the injured clients we have served. Take a look at our Verdicts and Settlements page and our many testimonials.