Texas residents experience health problems after chemical fire

The mayor of Deer Park claimed that major progress was being made to reopen the Houston Ship Channel after a major fire at a plant nearby caused chemicals to spill into the channel. This waterway is a major passageway for marine traffic carrying products in and out of the Houston area. While civil and military officials continue to monitor the channel for hazardous materials, residents nearby have reported many health problems that may be attributed to leaked chemicals at the plant.

The massive fire that caused the chemical spill into the Houston Ship Channel also sent thick black smoke into the Houston suburbs for four days. Many residents nearby were told to shelter in place when toxic fumes escaped the foam blanket laid down by fire fighters. Many residents reported feeling ill, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found nine hazardous contaminants in the local water.

Benzene was one of the toxins detected by health officials. Acute exposure to this chemical can cause everything from headaches to loss of consciousness, and chronic exposure can cause cancer. Doctors are evaluating the symptoms of local patients to find out if their problems are being caused by the fire. Unfortunately, many people are unable to see a doctor due to lack of insurance and funds.

Victims with injuries resulting from traumatic and catastrophic accidents may be able to obtain financial compensation for their losses. The first step is to contact an attorney who may be able to evaluate the situation and recommend a legal course of action. Sometimes, the party responsible will agree to a settlement, but filing a lawsuit and going to court is necessary in other situations.

Article: CNN, "Deer Park's mayor says progress is being made after the chemical fire. But some residents aren't so sure", Kaylee Hartung, 03/25/2019

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