MEK Birth Defects
The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled MEK (methyl ethyl ketone or 2-butanone) one of 188 known toxic air pollutants. MEK is a potentially hazardous chemical compound, suspected of having dangerous effects on neurological, respiratory, and gastrointestinal functioning. Environmental and health experts also suspect that MEK is linked to decreased birth weight and birth defects .
MEK Birth Defects: Sources and Exposure
MEK is a naturally occurring compound found in small amounts in certain fruits and vegetables. However, MEK is also widely manufactured and commonly used in solvents, rubbers, glues, lacquers, and varnishes.
A colorless liquid with a sharp, sweet odor, MEK can enter the air or water in a variety of ways, including:
- Manufacturing processes
- Car exhausts
- Toxic or other hazardous waste sites
- Paint, glue, cleaning agent, and chemical solvent fumes
- Cigarette smoke
Exposure to MEK occurs when an individual comes into contact with the chemical by inhaling, ingesting, or absorbing it into the body. Pregnant women exposed to the chemical compound face an increased risk of having a baby with an MEK birth defect. The risk of a fetus developing an MEK birth defect depends largely on the amount and length of exposure during pregnancy, as well as the route of exposure (for example, inhalation or ingestion) and other chemicals present at the time. If exposure occurs alongside other toxic chemicals known to cause birth defects, the risk of an adverse health effect significantly increases.
MEK Birth Defects and Other Adverse Health Effects
In addition to MEK causing birth defects, MEK can also cause the following adverse health effects:
- Irritation of the nose, throat, skin, and eyes
- Central nervous system depression
- Headache and nausea
High levels of MEK exposure in animals has shown additional serious health effects including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Kidney and liver damage
- Various neurological and respiratory effects
Legal Help for Children with an MEK Birth Defect
If you suspect that your baby was born with a birth defect caused by a toxin such as MEK, you may wish to consult with an experienced birth defect attorney who can help you understand your legal rights. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses and suffering. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation with a qualified and caring attorney near you.
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