Products Liability?: 13 Deaths Linked to Bathtub Refinishing Chemicals

The Centers for Disease Control says that there is a chemical in certain paint removers used to stripping bathtubs that is being linked to 13 deaths. The fatalities occurred in 10 states in residential bathrooms that didn’t have enough ventilation. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report said the chemical, methylene chloride, is considered potentially deadly to factory workers and furniture strippers but had not been previously linked to bathtub refinishers. The federal agency is urging manufacturers, trade groups, and public health agencies to warn employers, consumers, and workers about the risks.

If you believe your loved one died from exposure to methylene chloride while on the job, you may be able to obtain Massachusetts workers’ compensation death benefits from his/her employer. While you cannot pursue civil damages from the company or person that your family member worked for, you may have grounds for a Boston wrongful death case or a Massachusetts products liability claim against the manufacturer of the product that contained the high levels of methylene chloride yet didn’t include a warning of the potential dangers or provide instructions on how to ensure proper protection.

10 products containing 60 to 100% of the chemical methylene chloride have been linked to the 13 fatalities. The products were marked to the aircraft industry or for use on metal, wood, masonry, or glass. The product labels don’t say anything about bathtub refinishing.

According to the CDC, the death toll could be higher, because the current count doesn’t factor into account self-employed workers and those believed to have died of heart disease when, actually, exposure to methylene chloride was the cause. The CDC is cautioning that it is best not to use the chemical in the bathroom, which can linger in bathtubs after it is applied. Proper ventilation and protective equipment is also recommended when one has to be exposed to methylene chloride.

CDC: Common Bathtub Refinishing Chemical Can Be Deadly, Time, February 24, 2012
New CDC Alert to Consumers: Bathtub Refinishing Products Deadly, EmaxHealth, February 25, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Judge Upholds $20M Massachusetts Products Liability Lawsuit in Woman’s Pool Slide Death, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2012
Landlords Found Guilty in Quincy Fire that Killed a Father and Two Sons, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 28, 2012
Easthampton Police Officer Faces Forced Retirement After Work Injury, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2012
In Massachusetts, do not hesitate to contact one of our Boston injury lawyers. We represent clients with personal injury and wrongful death cases. We also have Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP that work with clients to make sure that they receive all of the work injury and death benefits owed to them.

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