Benzene is a known carcinogen and has been found to cause cancer in humans. Breathing benzene vapors may cause immediate death and other exposures to the chemical have been linked to various forms of leukemia, most notably Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by benzene exposure, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: High Levels of Benzene Found in Texas After Hurricane Harvey
September 11, 2017 – Residents of Texas trying to return to flooded homes after Hurricane Harvey should wear breathing masks to protect against molds and benzene from the city’s sewers, the EPA is warning. More than 450,000 Texas residents are still either without water or need to boil their water to prevent illness. Affected areas include parts of Houston, where flood waters have not completely receded nearly 2 weeks after the hurricane touched down on the city.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene evaporates into the air very quickly and dissolves slightly in water. It is highly flammable and is formed from both natural processes and human activities. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke, and a component or contaminant in numerous industrial and consumer products.
Benzene is commonly found in: adhesives, asphalts, calibrating fluid, charcoal lighter fluid, cigarette lighter fluid, contact cements, gasoline, glues, kerosene, hydraulic fluids, inks and ink markers, lacquer thinner, pesticides, processing film, rubber cement, solvents, and vinyl thinner.
Who is at risk of Benzene exposure?
Occupational Exposure: workers in many industries that produce or use benzene may be at risk for being exposed to this horrible carcinogen. Some of these occupations include:
- Mechanic (auto, marine, aviation, etc.)
- Benzene production (petrochemicals, petroleum refining, and coke and coal chemical manufacturing)
- Tire manufacturing
- Printing industry
- Storage or transport of benzene and petroleum products containing benzene.
Other workers who may be exposed to benzene because of their occupations include workers in the rubber industry, pesticides production, detergent production, solvent production, paint and varnish production, waste management, oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe manufacturers, petroleum processing industries, steel workers, laboratory technicians, firefighters, and gas station employees.
Environmental Exposure: although benzene exposure normally occurs in the workplace, there have been many instances of industrial discharge, disposal of products containing benzene, and gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks that have released benzene into our soil and water supplies, thus creating environmental benzene exposure situations.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has responded to environmental benzene exposure problems by setting the maximum permissible level of benzene in drinking water at 0.005 milligrams per liter (0.005 mg/L). The EPA requires that spills or accidental releases into the environment of 10 pounds or more of benzene be reported to the EPA immediately.
Consumer Exposure: some household products, such as glues, cleaning products, detergents, art supplies, and paint strippers, contain benzene. In addition, there has recently been quite a bit of news surrounding the discovery of benzene in soda and soft drinks.
Unfortunately, many companies consider the addition of the chemical to their products of as a “trade secret” and therefore do not list it on the product labeling. This corporate strategy poses a serious risk to consumers who become victims of unknown benzene exposure.
What are the side effects of Benzene exposure?
There are Acute (short-term) and Chronic (long-term) side effects to a person being exposed to the chemical. Benzene has been linked to the following:
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Myelofibrosis and Myeloid Metaplasia
- Aplastic Anemia
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
- Hairy Cell Leukemia
- Multiple Myeloma
- Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Hematologic Cancers
- Bladder Cancer
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- American Cancer Society – Benzene
- Benzene Exposure FAQ page
Turtle Wax Requests Dismissal of Illinois Benzene Lawsuit
July 12, 2017 – Turtle wax has asked a judge to drop a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he got leukemia from exposure to benzene at his job as a service station employee. Defendant argues that the suit lacks merit and fails to provide specific facts, including the location of where the benzene exposure occurred, the types of products that emitted the benzene, and the dates/frequency in which the exposure took place.
Illinois Man Alleges Leukemia from Benzene Exposure
July 10, 2017 – A man from Wood River, Illinois, claims that he developed acute myeloid leukemia due to exposure to benzene from the Wood River Refinery. Plaintiff Dennis Determan alleges this exposure occurred due to exposure, inhalation, ingestion and/or absorption of benzene being emitted, leaked, spilled, dumped and discharged into the air and surface/ground water by manufacturing plants owned by Rust-Oleum Corporation and Turtle Wax, Inc.
Auto Mechanic Files Benzene Cancer Lawsuit in Illinois
May 19, 2017 – An Illinois man who claims he developed multiple myeloma after years of working as an auto mechanic has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court. Plaintiff claims he was diagnosed with the disease as a result of prolonged exposure to carcinogens in diesel fuel, parts washer solvent, paint, belt dressings and more.
Do I have a Benzene Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Benzene exposure lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by the side effects of benzene toxicity, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.