What You Need To Know About Toxic Chemicals in Your Neighborhood

By Shawn Collins and Edward Manzke of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

Co-authored by Cassidy Carroll, Jacob Exline and Gregory Zimmer of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

Over the last 15 years, many of our environmental contamination cases have started the same way. A family gets the startling news that their water is contaminated with some toxic chemical that they've never heard of. Sometimes the news comes in a letter in the mail from a government agency. Sometimes it's a knock on the door from a government worker. The details are few, but the gist of what the family is told is that some company-perhaps the factory up the street-years ago dumped industrial waste out the back door. Over the years, the chemicals in that waste bled down through the soil, and are now in the groundwater that serves as the family's supply of water for drinking, preparing food and bathing.

Mom or dad then tries to figure out what to do. They're scared and angry all at the same time. Their thoughts are: "How could someone do this to us?" "Why weren't we told before?"

And then there's this one: "What is this chemical, and what can it do to my family?"

To help families in precisely this unfortunate situation, we've compiled short and easy-to-read summaries of the important facts about those chemicals most likely to be found contaminating drinking water. All you need to do is click on the chemical's name below, and you will find a snapshot of useful information that can help you protect your family. While there are more toxic chemicals out there than we have provided, we are dedicated to updating and adding more toxic chemicals to our list to better help families. If you need any further information, please contact us.

1,1-Dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE)

1,2-Dichloroethylene (1,2-DCE)

Arsenic (Inorganic)

Arsenic (Organic)



Carbon Dioxide




Hydrogen Sulfide




Methyl Teriary-Butyl Ether (MTBE)



Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Petroleum Contamination (BTEX)

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs)

Polycyclic/Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs/PNAs)


Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Vinyl Chloride (VC)