Wildfires in California continue to cause significant tragedy across the state. The damage goes even deeper than the property damage in the headlines. There are devastating losses that will continue to burden Californians for years to come.

Invisible danger

A fire doesn’t just destroy property. The destruction releases smoke and toxic chemicals as well. Unlike a forest fire, when a town burns, it releases toxins from plumbing, wiring, plastics, industrial chemicals and more. Air and ground pollution are serious concerns for first responders and for anyone living and working in the city as it recovers.

Wildfire damage in urban settings is a new development and the research doesn’t adequately measure the potential hazards. There is currently a study underway comparing the soil from fire damage in Santa Rosa to the soil from forest fires in unsettled areas, and the difference is notable. In Santa Rosa, there is evidence of more than 2,000 chemicals.

Line of duty

While some professions, such as firefighters and other emergency workers, know the complex health risks of exposure, anybody near harsh chemicals is in danger. Whether you are a truck driver transporting materials, a plumber working on old buildings, or a carpenter rebuilding a damaged building, these job hazards can have lasting consequences.

If exposure occurs on the job, you may be eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation guidelines. While wildfires and natural disasters are a high-profile example, many workers are exposed to more pollutants on a daily basis. Exposure cases can be very straight forward and obvious, but sometimes they require extensive research. Anyone who believe they’re suffering because of work-related exposure should speak with an attorney to review your specific case.