Environmental concerns are of great importance to most Americans who comprehend the risks -- for the environment and their own health -- that accompany polluting the earth with hazardous substances. Unfortunately, in years past, these risks of toxic exposure may not have been fully understood or were ignored entirely.
Recently, researchers from Texas A&M University have reported that, for decades, the military dumped bombs and other military ordnance into the Gulf of Mexico.
Millions of pounds of these munitions were dumped in the gulf and other areas between 1946 and 1970. Unfortunately, bombs are not the only type of military weaponry found by researchers. Canisters of mustard gas, some of which appear to be damaged and leaking, have also been spotted. In fact, shrimp fishers have even recovered mustard gas drums and bombs in their fishing nets.
Researchers state that a full survey is necessary to assess the risk. Until then, the extent of the danger both from the unexploded bomb and other possible chemical leaks will be unknown.
Toxins can have devastating health consequences for those who have been exposed to them. However, legal recourse may be available for victims of toxic exposure. Toxic exposure victims may seek compensation and relief through toxic tort lawsuits. When a company or individual exposes others to toxic or hazardous chemicals and the victims suffer illness or injuries as a result, the responsible party can be held financially accountable.
This particular case may be a little different, however, since the government, rather than a private party, is responsible for dumping the toxic materials. Though the procedure for doing so is slightly different, it is still possible to bring torts against a government entity.
It is uncertain how these hazardous materials that lie resting in the Gulf of Mexico will affect residents in Texas who live near the coast. Persons exposed to toxic substances run the risk of developing serious or life-threatening illnesses, but some compensation for their pain and suffering may be available.
Source: TGDaily.com, "Unexploded bombs endanger Gulf of Mexico shipping," Emma Woollacott, Oct. 1, 2012