Formaldehyde Cancer Link Could Spur Modest Tort Wave

Law360, New York (April 17, 2012, 10:12 PM EDT) -- Attorneys are primed for a wave of toxic torts over exposure to formaldehyde, which U.S. regulators identified as a "known carcinogen" last summer — but plaintiffs could be hard-pressed to show that low doses of this ubiquitous chemical actually gave them their cancer, experts say.

Formaldehyde, which is used in embalming fluid and a host of other products, has been on the radar of defense lawyers because of its ties to nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a throat cancer. But a "revolution in formaldehyde toxicology" began brewing when federal regulators began linking the chemical to leukemia, according to Larry Riff, a partner at Steptoe &...

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