Benzene is a chemical compound that is commonly used for a wide variety of commercial applications. Also known as benzin or benzol, benzene’s main usage is in the industrial manufacture of other chemicals and a number of different products. Benzene is used in the production of drugs, dyes, rubber, detergents, explosives, lubricants, and pesticides. It is also used to produce derivatives of benzene, such as cyclohexane which is used to produce Nylon, styrene which is used to produce plastics, and phenol, which is used to produce adhesives. Benzene is one of the most widely used chemicals in the United States today, produced in massive volumes and shipped to industries all over the country.
The typical appearance for benzene is a colorless liquid. As a liquid, benzene has a sweet smell and is synthetically processed from petroleum. Benzene is flammable and must be handled carefully in industrial situations to avoid both prolonged exposure and combustion. Benzene is considered a human carcinogen, causing a wide range of cancers in some of the humans that have been exposed to the chemical. Carbon-rich materials that have burned incompletely contain trace amounts of benzene and benzene can be found in the smoke of forest fires, volcanoes, and even cigarettes. There are several tests available to test individuals for exposure to benzene, but because benzene disappears rapidly from the body, the test must be conducted soon after the suspected exposure. Benzene can be measured either in the breath or in the blood. The chemical disappears rapidly from both sources.
There are many serious complications that can arise from exposure to benzene. Exposure to or breathing in air containing a high level of benzene can result in the death of the individual exposed. Lower levels of benzene in the air have been known to cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, rapid heart rate, tremors, and unconsciousness. Long term exposure to benzene has been found to affect the blood and bone marrow of an individual, inhibiting the production of red blood cells and causing anemia. Exposure to benzene in the air for long periods of time has been linked to the development of a variety of different kinds of cancer, with the most common type developed being leukemia. Benzene has also been known to contaminate food, and individuals that consume food contaminated by benzene may experience stomach irritation, vomiting, convulsions, and death.
Many thousands of factory workers throughout the world have been exposed to benzene during the course of their careers. Exposure to benzene occurs mainly in industries that manufacture the chemical, use the chemical as an industrial solvent, or use the chemical in the production of another product. The industries with the largest instances of high level benzene exposure include the oil industry, the rubber industry, shoe manufacturers, and chemical plants. Workers in these industries have the highest risk of exposure to high levels of benzene. Exposure to high levels of benzene can also occur through exposure to water and soil contaminated with the chemical. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 sites in the United States containing water or soil contaminated with high levels of benzene.
Do I have a Benzene Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in Benzene lawsuits. We are handling individual and group litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Benzene cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to Benzene and developed a form of leukemia or other blood related disease, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation and we can help.