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Understanding Eye Injury and Vision Loss​ from Chemicals

Posted on by in Product Liability


Chemical eye injuries can be permanent and life-altering. These types of injuries often involve unique challenges, but we can help you. Sight is a fundamental part of everyday life, and almost every activity relies upon it in some way. The human eye is an exceptional and delicate part of the body. Chemical substances cause approximately 18% of all ocular traumas.

A lot of these injuries happen in the workplace, but they can also occur at home being mostly caused by 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.

Chemical injuries to the eyes

Getting suddenly sprayed or splashed in the eye by substances other than clean, harmless water can be alarming. Some substances may burn or sting but are quite harmless in the long run, while others can cause serious injuries. The elementary makeup of the chemical involved can make a lot of difference, such as:

  • Acids (pH value less than 7) generally affect only the surface of the eye 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 found in car batteries, most detergents and other cleaning products as well as pepper spray.
  • Alkali (chemical substances with a pH value greater than 7) burns are the most dangerous; they inflict the damage by penetrating the surface tissue and cause real damage to both internal and external structures. Alkali can be found in found in fertilizers and drain cleaners.

Chemical exposures and burns can be caused in other ways as well, 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

Depending on the substance, the effects of chemical exposures causing eye injuries can range from minor irritation and red eyes to serious eye damage and even blindness.

What are common causes of chemical eye injuries?

Common products causing chemical injuries at home include, but are not limited to:

  • Soaps
  • Disinfectants
  • Solvents
  • Cosmetics
  • Regular household cleaners
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach

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.

The severity of the injury is influenced by various factors, such as quantity, substance, the concentration of the solution and direct exposure duration. Direct contact with the outer surface causes most burns, but chemicals can also affect ocular tissue through the skin, lungs or digestive tract absorption.

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.

What to do in case of chemical substances exposure

If the chemical is an irritant and the symptoms are only minor or nonexistent, then you may monitor your condition at home, but make sure you ask your ophthalmologist for advice first. If 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 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 as 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 facilities, training, supervision, and instruction

Helping you rebuild your life

As with any claim, presenting a case for chemical burn compensation requires establishing liability. Evidence such as medical reports, accident book reports and witness accounts are all valuable sources.

In all cases, the 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 at 305.416.9805 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.

For questions and free legal advice to help individuals please call us

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.