Exposure to environmental pollutants can be damaging to the health of you and your family. Our environmental health solicitors are specialists in dealing with the health impacts of environmental hazards.

Expertise in environmental health

It is commonly known that waste plants, coke and chemical works, recycling plants and heavy industry can all cause noise pollution, odour nuisances and excess dust, but they can also result in injury or illness to individuals exposed to these pollutants.  And, while waste disposal plants, composting sites, sewage treatment works and factories are generally safe, they can, on occasion, result in health concerns that can affect entire neighbourhoods.

Our environmental solicitors are experienced in dealing with environmental personal injury cases and have helped thousands of individuals and families take legal action against those responsible for environmental blight and nuisance.  On behalf of our clients we have taken legal action against businesses whose actions have exposed them to harmful environmental hazards, including those whose health has been impacted by such exposure.

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Key contact

Stephanie specialises in group actions on behalf of communities and residents across England and Wales affected by various forms of environmental pollution such as odour, noise and dust emanating from factories, landfill sites and other similar commercial entities.  She has successfully concluded a number of environmental group actions in locations within the UK and has secured compensation and an end to the nuisance on behalf of a large number of individuals.

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Your questions answered

How can the environment make people ill?


There is an endless number of ways in which environmental issues can cause illness or injury, but common causes include dangerous fumes, air pollution or water pollution, food contamination due to chemical leaching, exposure to asbestos fibres or second-hand smoke, and radiation exposure. There is also evidence to suggest an increased risk of childhood leukaemia caused by exposure to high magnetic fields in homes near to large power lines.

Just some of the environmental issues we deal with include:

  • Cancer or birth defects caused by toxic emissions from landfill sites;
  • Cancer or respiratory issues caused by exposure to dust and dusty air;
  • Illness from water pollution or food contamination;
  • Long-term exposure to high electric and magnetic fields;
  • Illness, such as nausea, headaches and eye irritation caused by oil spills
  • Toxic gas leaks;
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals on neighbouring land; and
  • Health issues relating to flooding.

What causes air pollution?


Air pollution is caused by the release of fumes, gases or dust into the atmosphere. While European regulations limit levels of harmful dust particles released by industry in the UK, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that health problems can be caused by levels lower than those allowed in the UK. Exposure to these particles, such as by living in close proximity to a waste disposal plant, can cause illness – including respiratory problems and cancer.

Why Hugh James?


Often it is not just one family who suffer but sometimes whole communities.  Our aim is to help families put a stop to environmental blight and nuisance and in appropriate cases seek compensation. We have the ability and vast environmental law experience to stand and fight for our clients to get a solution.

If you believe your health has been negatively affected due to an environmental issue and would like to discuss the problem, or if you would like more information in relation to pursuing a claim, please contact us.


I and 130 of my neighbours have had cause to engage ‘Hugh James’ to deal with a current problem that is ongoing at the moment and have found their professionalism and assistance in all matters so far to be of a very high standard. They seem to be tenacious, approachable and responsive to any concerns I have had throughout and for such a service I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone whom may find that they have to embark on a similar path.

Anonymous client


Hugh James recently successfully represented local residents in a difficult and major claim against a landfill operator. Throughout the case, we were extremely impressed by the way in which the case was presented and handled. The solicitor acting on our behalf fully explained our position, opportunities, and strategies, at all times displaying professionalism of the highest order. The pleasant, courteous and patient manner in which everything was fully and effectively explained contributed greatly to success in winning the difficult and complicated case.

Anonymous client


I wanted to thank you and your team for the way in which you have handled the case. Right from the earliest meetings and the regular updates, things were laid out clearly and emotive issues handled with sensitivity. It’s also clear that you were successful in the negotiations delivering a result that would not have been possible without you. Thanks again for all your work.

Manchester Airport claimant.


“.. What you have achieved for us is worth more than cash alone. We have been let down by the regulators time and again and Hugh James is the only organisation which has achieved anything for us long-suffering residents. I want to thank you for what you have achieved.”

Mr B – South Yorkshire


So far, I have found Hugh James to be very open and honest in their dealings. They are very good at keeping us informed of what is happening, and they always ask before carrying out any actions on our behalf. Based on my experience so far, I would have no hesitation in recommending them to help in any action you are considering or pursuing.

Mr Paris


I would just like to thank your company for the efficient way you have handled this matter / you have kept me regularly informed by the way of letters explaining all procedures and possible outcomes in relation to the investigation.

Mr Tarvin (Hampshire)


I have to admit that I was very skeptical at first, as it did not seem possible that I would not be considerably out of pocket should we have lost the case at court. However you were able to put my mind at rest. With the success of the claim, I feel this has completely justified our efforts in complaining to the defendant and recording the times etc of the worst incidents. The smell really was nasty at times, which most importantly has now ceased.

Mr Tarvin (Hampshire)


The reason I joined and contributed to this group claim, was to bring an improvement to my own, and neighbour's environmental living conditions. This has largely been met. Without your involvement, Cannock Council would not have felt it necessary to become involved and we would still be in the same position as we have been for the past forty years. For this, I thank you and Hugh James. Our whole community will reap the benefit of this for years to come.

Mr Woodman (Norton Aluminium Group Litigation)


The “unstoppable” Neil Stockdale is head of the environment team at the firm. He maintains his position as a market leader on group actions for claimants affected by pollution and blight including odour or noise. Interviewees say he is ‘highly experienced,’ ‘very focused’ and ‘very approachable.’

Chambers and Partners UK

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