Workers that are employed in an industry that uses asphalt on a regular basis have an increased risk of developing complications associated with long term benzene exposure.
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These industries include manufacturing facilities that produce asphalt and asphalt containing products, paving companies, and roofing companies. The employees that work for these companies come into contact with or are around products containing benzene on a daily basis and can be exposed to the fumes from these products for as long as 10 hours a day.
Asphalt is produced using petroleum along with other ingredients and the petroleum, when heated, releases benzene-containing fumes into the air. The manufacturing process for asphalt does not change the properties of the petroleum enough to eliminate the release of benzene when the product is hot. Because asphalt is typically used while it is at very high temperatures to ensure that the product stays fluid, the asphalt is constantly releasing benzene fumes into the air until it cools and hardens. Any individual that is working closely with the hot product is breathing in high concentrations of benzene from the fumes escaping from the product.
During the asphalt manufacturing process, the ingredients used to create the asphalt are heated to allow the individual ingredients to stay liquefied and bond together properly. Because large amounts of petroleum are used in the manufacturing process for asphalt, when the mixture is heated, large amounts of benzene containing fumes are released. Line workers, maintenance personnel, and supervisory officials are all at risk for developing complications from long term benzene exposure due to their exposure to these fumes on a daily basis.
Workers that use asphalt on a daily basis also have an increased risk of developing the complications associated with long term benzene exposure. When asphalt is applied to surfaces, such as roadways or rooftops, the asphalt is extremely hot to ensure that the asphalt will stay fluid during the application. This constant heating of the asphalt releases the fumes containing benzene into the air where all of the workers on the worksite may be affected. The individuals that actually apply the asphalt to the surfaces are at an even greater risk of long term benzene exposure complications because they work closely with the asphalt for long periods of time and breathe in higher concentrations of the chemical because they are much closer to the source.
Many of the individuals that work in these industries are unaware of the dangers posed to them from long term exposure to the fumes containing benzene and therefore take very few precautions to limit their benzene exposure. Very few individuals in these industries use breathing equipment to limit their exposure while working closely with the asphalt and many individuals that work with the asphalt in an outdoor setting assume that the wind is enough to carry the fumes away before they can be breathed into the body. There is no way to predict which workers will develop benzene related complications, but every individual that works in these capacities has the potential to develop life-threatening complications resulting from long term benzene exposure.
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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.