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Antimony trioxide is a white, odorless powder used primarily as a flame-retardant agent and in pigments, ceramics, textiles, enamels, adhesives, plastics, and rubber. It is also used to stain copper and iron and to decolorize glass.

Antimony trioxide is currently under review by the National Institutes of Health as a possible carcinogen, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies it as a possible carcinogen to humans. In January 2018, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) reviewed a draft Report on Carcinogens and voted unanimously “that antimony trioxide should be listed in the Report on Carcinogens as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence from studies in experimental animals and supporting mechanistic data.”

Occupational exposures to antimony trioxide can occur from both inhalation of airborne solid dust in facilities producing antimony trioxide as well as facilities using antimony trioxide as an ingredient in the manufacture of other materials. Public exposures are primarily the result of environmental exposures (e.g., exposure to automotive brakes containing antimony trisulfate, which can oxidize into antimony trioxide).

It is alleged that short-term exposures to antimony trioxide can cause nose, mouth, and throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Prolonged exposure allegedly can cause ulcers and sores; kidney, liver, and heart damage; reproductive and developmental effects; and an increased risk of lung cancer.

How Tucker Ellis Can Help

In addition to manufacturers and distributors of products containing antimony trioxide, employers using it in their production or operations are possible targets in litigation. The Tucker Ellis Mass Tort & Product Liability Group can assist clients with legal issues and help develop strategies to manage risks.

The Tucker Ellis Mass Tort & Product Liability Group represents product manufacturers in tens of thousands of cases filed in state and federal courts nationwide at both the trial and appellate levels. Our lawyers focus on the national, regional, and local defense of product liability cases involving industrial, commercial, and consumer products and toxic tort cases related to alleged exposure to naturally occurring substances such as asbestos, silica, coal mine dust, and talc, as well as welding fume, mold, and other claimed toxins.

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