This is a toxic tort matter involving a series of cases of exposure to various chemicals at a power plant in Washington State. Several workers who had been with the plant for more than five years developed bronchiolitis obliterans and two subsequently passed away from related complications. It was alleged that the plant was underregulated and allowed for toxic chemicals to be handled in unsafe manners causing significant medical complications.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. What is your familiarity with the chemical industry?
- 2, Under what circumstances would it be appropriate for a company to sell chemicals they know can cause bronchiolitis obliterans without providing warnings, if ever?
- 3. What regulations exist to stop companies from selling chemicals they know cause significant medical complications?
Expert Witness Response E-156873
Having held several director-level positions at chemical plants over the course of 38 years, I am extremely familiar with the chemical industry as it relates to process engineering, procurement, construction, and operations management. Because of this, I understand the dangers of chemicals and their safety requirements from a procedural and documentation perspective. The EPA has jurisdiction over chemical management through the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Safe Chemicals Act. At a minimum, all chemicals must have an MSDS available for review by anyone who may come in contact with the chemical. The MSDS features the state of the chemical’s physical properties, any known dangers, and ways to mitigate exposure. There are no circumstances that should allow companies to sell or expose workers to harmful toxic chemicals without the necessary and mandated practices by the appropriate regulatory authorities. At a minimum, anyone who is exposed to handling these chemicals must be warned clearly and unambiguously of their dangers and antidotes.