The Dangers of Vinyl Chloride, Phosgene, and Dioxins

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

The Dangers of Vinyl Chloride, Phosgene, and Dioxins

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas with a faintly sweet odor.

It is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is used in a wide range of products, including credit cards, furniture, car parts, and most notably, PVC piping.

A recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has put this chemical on the front page of news with residents being evacuated due to a large release of the gas.

vinyl chloride burning in east palestine, oh
Table of Contents

What is Vinyl Chloride?

The National Cancer Institute associates vinyl chloride exposure with increased risk of liver cancer and other types of cancer.

Those who are at the greatest risk are PVC pipe makers who have inhaled the chemical during the manufacturing process.

If the workers breathed in the gas for longer periods and had high levels of exposure, they were at an increased risk of developing rare liver cancers, according to Ruth Lunn, a researcher of carcinogens at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

What is Phosgene?

When vinyl chloride burns, it releases hazardous chemicals such as phosgene and hydrogen chloride into the air.

Phosgene is a colorless gas with a pungent odor that can cause vomiting and breathing difficulties, and was once used as a weapon in World War I.

Experts consider phosgene to be safe at exposure levels of 0.1 parts per million (ppm) during an eight-hour period, or 0.2 ppm during a 15-minute period.

Hydrogen chloride is another chemical that can be released when vinyl chloride burns.

It is a colorless to yellowish gas with a strong odor and is known to cause skin, eye, nose and throat irritation.

Exposure to hydrogen chloride is considered safe at 5 ppm for an eight-hour period.

What are Dioxins?

There is also concern that the burning of vinyl chloride could lead to the formation of dioxins, which are created from burning chlorinated carbon materials.

Dioxins are a group of persistent environmental pollutants that can remain in the ground and body for years and have been one of the major environmental problems and controversies in the United States.

Experts are worried that the exposure to dioxins could have long-term health effects on individuals who were exposed.

At the moment, the Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring the air and water quality in the East Palestine area to determine the level of contamination.

However, residents are concerned about the potential long-term effects of low-grade exposure, and it is not clear when it will be safe for them to return home.

Contact a Chemical Spill Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been exposed to vinyl chloride or other hazardous chemicals, it is important to contact a lawyer to understand your legal rights.

You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact TruLaw today for an Instant Case Evaluation if you have been exposed to vinyl chloride or any other hazardous materials.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

Camp Lejeune’s water contamination issue spanned several decades starting in the 1950s. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to various serious health issues, including cancer, organ diseases, and death.

Tylenol Lawsuit

Research is increasingly suggesting a link between the use of Tylenol during pregnancy and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and ADHD, in infants.

AFFF Lawsuit

Legal action is being taken against manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF), a chemical used in fighting fires. The plaintiffs allege that exposure to the foam caused health issues such as cancer, organ damage, and birth and fertility issues.

Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at TruLaw, we’re committed to helping victims get the justice they deserve.

Alongside our partner law firms, we have successfully collected over $3 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured individuals.

Would you like our help?

Helpful Sites & Resources