OxyCide is a household name for workers in the healthcare industry where the slightest trace of germs is unwelcome. The cleaner has been a game-changer for the healthcare industry in its ability to quickly and effectively kill germs through a simple application procedure.
However, its use has contributed to increasing health complications among workers for which they received no warning. These complications manifest within minutes of using the chemical, and for some victims, long-term exposure has led to adverse health complications.
Consumer Alert Now helps you protect yourself and receive compensation for the damages you suffered from using OxyCide. We help you join mass torts near you and represent your case.
Overview of OxyCide
OxyCide is a one-step disinfectant specially designed to kill a broad group of dangerous organisms. EcoLab introduced this daily disinfectant cleaner in 2013, and it has become a go-to solution for most healthcare centers.
OxyCide gained its popularity in its ease of use, unlike before when cleaners had to use complicated bleaching procedures to deal with different types of dangerous organisms.
According to the CDC, OxyCide has been instrumental in reducing healthcare-related infections such as pneumonia, surgical site, urinary tract, blood, and lung infections.
These infections are common due to resistant microorganisms such as C.Diff and Staph. These microorganisms are resistant to most bleaching agents previously used in these hospitals and require sporicidal cleaners to eradicate them.
The product contains combinations of chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid. Further, OxyCide cleaner kills even the most stubborn germs within five minutes.
OxyCide does not need thorough rinsing compared to other disinfectants making it a popular choice for healthcare institutions.
However, despite its effectiveness and efficiency, OxyCide has caused several respiratory problems, especially after long exposure. These side effects of the cleaner are not included in the product.
It has provided safety for patients by killing infectious microorganisms but has created an unsafe environment for hospital staff.
The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) launched an investigation into the effects of OxyCide amidst rising concerns about the health effects of the chemical. From the investigation, the NIOSH determined that the cleaner's active ingredients contribute to adverse health effects to their users.
The NIOSH also linked the increase and severity of symptoms for workers who cleaned in poorly ventilated places.
Another company, ChemDAQ, found that continuous exposure to the active ingredients in OxyCide can cause liver and kidney damage, and circulatory problems, depending on the patient, could be undetected for months or years. Hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid are not as harmful as separate chemicals, but their combination creates PAA, which is toxic.
OxyCide disinfectant cleaner comes with a Dilution Management System, which is supposed to dilute the cleaner. However, the dilution management system turned out to be too concentrated to create a safe cleaning agent; thus, hospitals that use OxyCide were advised to further dilute the cleaner to achieve more acceptable pH levels.
The dilution management system is an automated dispenser that dilutes OxyCide cleaner to a pH of three. The dilution management system features a locked compartment with a suction line to facilitate dilution. It also has another line that allows water into the cleaner before releasing it for cleaning.
EcoLab advertises that cleaners can use the cleaner with a push of a button without protective clothing. In the experience of most cleaners, using OxyCide and the dilution management system without protective clothing causes health risks such as burns and rashes.
Information from the Manufacturer
The manufacturer's information provides critical information on the use, composition, indications, and toxicology information about a product. The information offers guidelines for use and possible measures to take for first aid, storage, use, and disposal of the product.
Such information is a critical piece of evidence when you file a lawsuit after you suffered harm after using the product as recommended.
EcoLab advertises OxyCide as a one-step disinfectant that is effective in killing germs, cleaning, and deodorizing. It contains 27.5% of hydrogen peroxide and 5.8% of peroxyacetic acid, which are the two active ingredients.
In its hazard statement, EcoLab warns that OxyCide is toxic when swallowed or inhaled, can cause severe skin burns and eye damage, and the product can accelerate a fire.
In its precautionary statement, OxyCide says:
“Due to the form and packaging of the product, no protective equipment is needed under normal use conditions. Chemical splash goggles, impervious gloves, and aprons should be used when there is a likelihood of exposure to concentrated products…”
EcoLab recognizes that OxyCide can cause eye irritation, burning, and respiratory discomfort before dilution. However, it does not recognize any effects of the product upon dilution, except if it is ingested.
The exposure controls provide for the product include:
- Use the product only with adequate ventilation.
- No protective equipment for the hands, skin, and respiratory system is required when the product is used under normal conditions and when diluted.
EcoLab does not provide information on the toxic effect of the product on the eyes, skin, or respiratory system when one uses the product when diluted. According to the manufacturer, the product has “no known significant effect or critical hazards” for chronic toxicity in areas such as:
- Developmental effects
- Fertility effects
- Mutagenicity (possibility of altering the genetic structure)
- Teratogenicity (inducing or producing physiological abnormalities)
Complications of Using OxyCide
OxyCide consists of several chemicals that work together in eradicating germs in the hospital. These include chloramine, chlorhexidine, ethanolamine, glutaraldehyde, hexachlorophene, ortho-phthalaldehyde, and quaternary ammonium.
Workers in hospitals nationwide started complaining about the effects of the cleaning products, and others developed serious complications that forced them out of work. Despite these complaints, EcoLab continues to market OxyCide as a safe cleaner.
People with preexisting respiratory conditions such as asthma have a greater risk of developing complications due to the use of OxyCide.
OxyCide is a strong chemical, which could corrode the skin if it spills on you. It also releases toxic vapors, which lead to respiratory and skin problems for the victims. These effects are elevated when cleaning areas with poor ventilation, such as shower stalls.
The complications experienced to the exposure to OxyCide include:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Eye irritation
- Respiratory problems
- Irritation, soreness and burning sensations in the throat
- Vocal cord dysfunction and loss of voice
- Nasal irritation
- Absentmindedness and memory loss
- Skin problems including rashes, irritation, cracked skin and burns
- Upset stomach
- Neurologic problems
People without asthma are also likely to develop the condition upon continued exposure to the chemicals in OxyCide and the response of your body to the chemical.
The victims who have experienced these complications suffered them despite following the regulations for the use of the product. Some people report relief from their symptoms when they move to fresh air.
Victims who have had higher levels of exposure are likely to develop life-threatening conditions such as edema, consolidation of the lungs, and hemorrhage. Other long-term effects of exposure to OxyCide include kidney and liver damage and circulatory problems.
OxyCide has led to several class action and mass tort lawsuits in 2020. These lawsuits are holding the company responsible for failing to provide adequate warning about the possible problems that could develop from using the cleaner.
EcoLab is also accused of failing to provide adequate safety precautions and falsely asserting that OxyCide has side effects similar to other disinfectants. Of concern is the assertion that cleaners can use the dilution management system without wearing protective clothing as it is safe and effective.
Besides, EcoLab has not made efforts to analyze the potential dangers of the product or recall the current products. For instance, the company asserts in its marketing that the use of personal protective equipment is unnecessary when working with OxyCide.
Previous studies have proven that the two active ingredients in the product (acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which together form a more potent peracetic acid, PAA) aggravate asthmatic symptoms and cause breathing.
Some of these studies were conducted as early as 2010, yet EcoLab produced OxyCide without carrying out extensive research and product testing to ensure that they are not exposing consumers to danger.
The lawsuits filed against EcoLab, therefore, assert that the company should have known of the dangers of the two ingredients and provided sufficient warning to consumers about the potential risks and the preventative measures they could have taken.
EcoLab should also have responded to the complaints about the health effects of the cleaner and the dilution management system by running further tests. By failing to do so, the manufacturer displayed a disregard for the health and safety of the healthcare professionals and other members of the public who use or have been in places where OxyCide is used.
EcoLab does not provide information on the exposure limits to the cleaner and its dilution management system. These exposure limits are part of the information that helps consumers reduce the risk of developing side effects by reducing exposure to chemicals that could harm them.
Knowing that PAA exposure results in health complications, EcoLab could have recommended or required the use of PAA monitors to ensure that workers are not chronically or acutely exposed to PAA.
Studies show that most people start experiencing side effects of exposure to OxyCide within a few minutes of exposure, yet some workers are exposed to the cleaner for close to eight hours every day.
These lawsuits are also based on an assertion that the effects of the exposure to OxyCide will result in permanent health problems and disability due to associated complications.
You can join an OxyCide lawsuit through a mass tort or class action lawsuit attorney to help your recover the damages you suffer due to exposure to OxyCide including:
- Medical costs incurred in treating the arising complications.
- Lost wages due to missing work or leaving your job
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Before you can file a claim, you need to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. The attorney will evaluate the case to determine the possible value and the avenue through which you can pursue it.
In some cases, you could also sue your employer for workplace hazards if they knew of the risks associated with the product, continued its use, or did not provide safe conditions to facilitate the safety of its personnel.
OxyCide Mass Tort
Different workers experience different effects from using the disinfectant. They will also develop different short and long-term complications depending on their body’s response to the chemical.
You can file an individual personal injury suit to recover the damages you suffered from OxyCide exposure. Since many people have been affected by the product, and are suing the same defendant, individual cases could be consolidated into a mass tort.
As opposed to a class action suit, a mass tort includes the individual claims of the plaintiffs. They might present their evidence collectively, but the claims of each plaintiff are different – unlike in a class action suit where all the plaintiffs are treated as a single party with similar claims and side effects.
Joining a mass tort increases the likelihood of recovering a fair settlement for your injuries, instead of consolidating them into a one-size-fits-all class action. The benefit of consolidating related individual cases is the cost-savings for the court system.
It can also save time since the attorneys representing different clients can share evidence such as the testimony of an expert witness.
The court will still handle every case individually, meaning that the length and compensation from the case will differ based on the circumstances of your case.
Most mass tort cases take time to resolve, but the compensation is usually fair and covers the damages you suffered.
Some of the damages you will recover include:
- Medical costs for treatment, therapy, and medication required to treat or manage the condition you developed. The value of your medical costs will vary based on the extent of the injury. For instance, if OxyCide causes more severe asthma, you will need to have an inhaler and be on medication constantly. Burns from the cleaner could also require different levels of medication based on the extent of the burn. You will have to keep track of all your expenses and maintain the receipts as evidence when making your claim.
- Wages you lose in the present and future due to the injury. These lost wages could be due to the days you missed work or debilitating conditions that make it impossible for you to work again.
- Pain and suffering damages for the physical and emotional pain you experience due to the injuries.
Proving Negligence and Damages from OxyCide
EcoLab continues to insist on the safety of OxyCide as a cleaner and disinfectant. Those who have filed claims against the company continue to receive accusations that they failed to adhere to the instructions for use.
However, most workers follow the recommended procedures and still report complications arising from the product.
Proof is a critical element that makes the difference in whether you receive a fair settlement for your case or not. Proving that you suffered damages is more than saying you developed rashes or that your asthmatic condition worsened due to your exposure to OxyCide – you have to provide physical evidence or, in some cases, expert witnesses.
Since this is a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in their production, testing, and distribution of a hazardous cleaner without providing sufficient warning.
For a claim based on design and manufacturing defects (strict liability), you will show that:
- EcoLab designed, manufactured, researched, tested, marketed, and distributed OxyCide cleaning products.
- The defects associated in OxyCide were present while the product was in EcoLab’s possession and control.
- The company knew that healthcare providers would use the product without inspecting or testing it for defects,
- The workers in these healthcare institutions used OxyCide cleaning products as per the recommendations of the manufacturer.
- EcoLab intended the products to be used for disinfecting and related activities.
- The plaintiff suffered harm during the use of these cleaning products, while he or she was following the directions and recommendations of EcoLab.
- The plaintiff suffered serious injuries or developed medical conditions due to the product.
- Even after knowing the possible effects of OxyCide cleaning products, EcoLab failed to provide post-market warning and recommendations, and instead, promoted its products as safe and effective. The company also failed to correct its product to remove or mitigate the risks it poses to consumers.
- EcoLab continued to design and distribute the cleaning products without testing them for safety or discontinuing their use despite the complaints presented regarding their risks to the safety of hospital workers.
- The risks of exposure to the products outweigh the benefits it provides
- In its actions, EcoLab displayed a conscious disregard for the safety of its product or the harm that would arise from the use of these products.
For claims arising due to EcoLab’s failure to warn, you will provide proof similar to that for strict liability and include the assertion that the company did not provide adequate instructions on:
- The short and long-term effects of using OxyCide
- Adequate instructions on the safe use of the product
- Conditions such as ventilation that would influence the risk of exposure
- The failure to warn was a significant factor in your injury.
- EcoLab also failed to warn its consumers that the product is listed as an asthmagen since 2015
- EcoLab failed to warn that the product is a known respiratory sanitizer (a product which can trigger an immune response and other respiratory effects even at low exposure)
- EcoLab failed to instruct users on how to reduce exposure to the cleaner through administrative and engineering safeguards, for instance, by keeping the lid closed.
You can also file a claim for injuries based on negligence. Under this legal theory, you have to show that:
- EcoLab had a duty to protect its consumers through the products it manufactured by complying with the applicable regulations and standards that regulate the design, manufacturing, testing, packaging, and inspecting of the product.
- EcoLab breached this duty by failing to manufacture or test the safety of its product before releasing it into the market. Further, the company breached this duty by failing to correct the product even after reports that it caused adverse health effects to the users.
- You suffered an injury or developed a condition due to the use of the product.
- You suffered damages, including medical costs and lost wages due to these injuries.
Fighting large manufacturing companies is often complicated for victims who cannot afford the legal representation or the expenses of hiring expert witnesses. However, you can reduce the cost by collaborating with a personal injury attorney.
These are professionals who help you recover fair compensation for the harm you suffer because of a company's negligence and provide their expertise and resources to collect and present the relevant evidence to support your claim.
You can help your attorney by keeping your medical records organized. This will include the diagnosis report and the receipts for treatment and medication you need to treat the injuries you suffered.
You should also bring previous medical records if the use of OxyCide worsened an existing respiratory condition.
Your attorney could hire expert witnesses who can provide information about the effects of the chemicals in the cleaner. Such an expert can provide industry information that neither you nor the attorney can provide.
Find an OxyCide Mass Tort Near Me
Although OxyCide has provided benefits in eradicating stubborn disease-causing microorganisms, it has caused more harm to the workers exposed to the cleaning product every day.
Consumer Alert Now helps protect consumers by bringing lawsuits against companies that produce defective products and fail to warn consumers. We deal with mass torts, where we represent clients who have suffered different injuries due to the use of OxyCide.
Schedule a consultation with us at 800-511-0747 if you or a loved one has suffered an injury by a toxic product. We serve plaintiffs from across the nation to help them recover the damages they have suffered.