Benzene is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the environment and can be manufactured synthetically as well. This sweet smelling chemical compound is colorless or slightly tinged yellow in its liquid form and is extremely flammable. Liquid benzene evaporates rapidly into the air, but dissolves only slightly when introduced to water. In fact, when benzene is placed in water most of the chemical remains floating on the surface of the water. Considered an aromatic hydrocarbon, benzene is a known human carcinogen and has been found to cause a wide variety of adverse side effects and complications in individuals that have been exposed to benzene in high concentrations or for long periods of time.
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.
Benzene occurs in the natural environment when materials rich in carbon begin to burn but are not completely consumed by the fire. Benzene is typically present around volcanoes and forest fires, but can also be found in cigarette smoke. The chemical can also pass into the air from contaminated water or soil, where it is broken down by other chemicals in the air in a matter of a few days. The synthesized form of benzene is obtained from compounds found in petroleum. Previously obtained as a byproduct of coal processing and coke production, the petroleum industry began to produce synthetic benzene to meet the huge demand from industry consumers for the chemical. In recent years, the production of benzene has increased from 9.9 billion pounds annually to 12 billion pounds annually.
Benzene is used for a wide variety of applications in numerous industries all over the world. Before the dangerous nature of benzene was discovered, many men used benzene as an aftershave due to its sweet smell. Benzene was also commonly used as an additive to gasoline to increase the octane rating of the gasoline while reducing the knocking that can occur in the engine. Benzene has been used as an industrial solvent for degreasing machinery and used in the process of decaffeinating coffee beans, applications that have been reduced or eliminated in most of the world due to the dangerous nature of benzene.
Currently, the most common uses of benzene include the production of drug and medications, the production of plastics, the production of rubber, and the production of dyes. Small amounts of benzene are used in the production of lubricants, detergents, pesticides, explosives, or napalm. Benzene is commonly used to create chemical derivatives that can be used in the production of other items. The most frequently used derivatives of benzene include phenol, which is used in the creation of resin and adhesives; styrene, which is used to create plastics; cyclohexane, which is used in the production of Nylon; and aniline, used to create polyurethane.
Most of the benzene present in the environment has been released from industrial processes. It is estimated that 100,000 locations within the United States has been contaminated with benzene in either the water or the soil, which also eventually ascends into the air. Acceptable levels of benzene in both the environment and in consumable items have been regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration to ensure that the level of benzene does not cause harm to the individuals exposed to it. Workplace safety rules dealing with benzene has also been put into place by the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ensure that workers that deal with benzene in their positions are safe from the harm that the chemical can cause.
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.