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California employer defense for potentially toxic materials

When a California business owner is held responsible for the injury or illness of a worker for a condition that may have been caused by the manufacturer of a toxic source, an employer defense may be necessary to help minimize extensive and ongoing expenses. Reports warn that materials commonly used in remodeling and building may have the potential to cause asthma. An employer defense may help to reveal shared liability with the maker of the materials and ease some of the financial burden carried by the business.

Reports have revealed that the Healthy Building Network claims that safety measures for materials used in building and remodeling need accountability, as the number of people who suffer from asthma continues to rise. The materials used in remodeling and building that the network warned against are those that contain chemicals that can cause or agitate asthma. Products like paint, insulation, glue used for flooring, carpet and other hard-surface flooring materials could contain these toxic chemicals.

Installers, warehouse personnel and showroom staff are regularly exposed to a myriad of materials used on floors, ceilings and walls. The published report released by the network listed up to 20 different asthmagens that workers and homeowners could be exposed to. Some of these chemicals could additionally hinder children the ability to develop a healthy immune system and lungs when exposed to the chemicals.

An installer or worker in California who continues to bring home residue on their clothes could potentially affect others in their home with the purported asthmagens. A worker who files an injury claim could possibly require long-term workers' compensation for the illness that they or a family member incurred from their job requirements. Liability may belong in part to the manufacturer of the toxic materials, and a good employer defense may help a business owner to protect themselves.

Source: buildings.com, Common Building Materials Could Cause Asthma, No author, Dec. 27, 2013

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