MTBE - Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether
MTBE, or Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, is a chemical compound that is used as a gasoline additive to increase oxygen levels and raise the fuel's octane number. Colorless and extremely volatile, MTBE is particularly harmful when it seeps into the ground. Although MTBE is not soluble in groundwater, MTBE contaminated groundwater can be harmful nevertheless. Despite MTBE being used by physicians to help dissolve gallstones, its dangerousness has the potential to render one seriously ill nevertheless.
A major point of contention amongst MTBE usage in the production of gasoline involves the storage of gasoline. That is, if underground tanks that store gasoline deteriorate over time and crack and begin to leak, then MTBE will unavoidably seep into the ground and affect both the soil and ground water, the latter of which may seep back up to the surface and pose an imminent risk to those who may seek use of that water. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "the majority of the human health-related research conducted to date on MTBE has focused on effects associated with the inhalation of the chemical. When research animals inhaled high concentrations of MTBE, some developed cancers or experienced other non-cancerous health effects…Researchers have limited data about what the health effects may be if a person swallows (ingests) MTBE." However, it has been reasonably determined that, though data is limited, "the data supports the conclusion that MTBE is a potential human carcinogen at high doses."
Those responsible for the production and addition of MTBE to gasoline have the daunting task of making sure that the chemical is not misused. In the event that MTBE is found to have polluted a particular area, then it is the responsibility of the company who brought it into the area to clean it up and accept responsibility for all damages that result from MTBE exposure to the environment. In the event that illness occurs, particularly amongst factory workers, then accountability should almost always rest in the hands of manufactures and companies that called for the usage of MTBE in the first place.
If you or a loved one has been negatively impacted by the dangerous effects of MTBE, please don't hesitate to contact the environmental litigation attorneys at Anapol Schwartz. Our skilled lawyers will examine all aspects of your case, and seek compensatory damages on your behalf from negligible parties responsible for your affliction. Damages can help assist with the cost of medical bills or even lost wages that resulted from your accident. Call us today for a free consultation, and we'll see to it that your rights are not neglected.
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