Were you or a loved one an employee of Delta Airlines in 2018? If so, you’ll want to read on as you may have been exposed to harsh chemicals and heavy metals used in treating uniforms issued to employees that year by Lands’ End, a clothing brand based in Wisconsin.
In a lawsuit filed on December 31, 2019 in the U.S. District Court in Wisconsin, Delta Air Lines employees claim that wearing the uniforms caused health issues including rashes, headaches and fatigue, among other problems.
Unlike a similar suit brought in New York by two Delta employees in May of 2019, this time the plaintiffs are seeking class action status on behalf of more than 64,000 workers who were issued the uniforms.
Harsh chemicals and heavy metals allegedly caused illnesses in employees
Delta, not named as a defendant, issued a statement claiming that the company had invested in “a rigorous toxicology study” of the textiles and chemicals used in the contaminated uniforms, and that the results of that study “confirm our uniforms meet the highest textile standards, with the exception of the optional flight attendant apron, which we removed from the collection.”
The lawsuit claims that the uniforms contained chemicals and heavy metals, including amounts of chromium, mercury and formaldehyde all in excess of garment industry standards. Some symptoms of exposure to these chemicals include:
- Chromium can be harmful to the skin, eyes, blood, and respiratory system.
- Antimony can be harmful to the eyes and skin, may cause hair loss and is primarily used to make flame-proofing materials.
- Mercury, at high vapor concentrations, can cause quick and severe lung damage, while at low vapor concentrations over an extended period of time, it can cause neurological disturbances, memory problems, skin rash and kidney abnormalities. Mercury can also pass from a mother to her baby through the placenta during pregnancy and through breast milk after birth.
- Formaldehyde is a skin, throat, lungs and eye irritant in small doses, while repeated exposure may cause cancer.
- Fluorine is used as a stain repellent, is a known eye irritant, and may also be harmful to kidneys, teeth, bones, nerves and muscles.
- Bromine, another fire-retardant chemical, is a skin, mucous membrane, and tissue irritant.
The purpose of adding these toxic, dangerous substances to uniforms worn on the job for up to twelve hours per day by Delta’s employees? To make them “stretchier, wrinkle- and stain- resistant, waterproof, anti-static and deodorizing.”
In other words, employees were exposed to risky levels of these poisons and suffered health problems as a result all for appearances’ sake.
Find out if you or a loved one are entitled to damages
Were you a Delta employee in 2018 or know someone who was? Did you suffer illness because of exposure to these uniforms? If so, don’t delay in contacting our attorneys to find out what your legal options are. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.