Benzene is an organic chemical compound found in crude oil and basic petrochemicals. The chemical is linked to a variety of chronic illnesses including leukemia and aplastic anemia. Patients have contracted the illness through exposure to industrial products, particularly in the manufacturing industrial sector. The chemical is highly regulated but has not been outlawed in the United States.
Benzene is present in many industrial occupations. Patients having contracted Benzene-related illnesses are commonly employed in industries involving detergent, pesticide, gasoline, solvent, paint, varnish or adhesive production. In addition, those working in processing plants handling rubber or petroleum are considered at risk. Waste management, auto mechanics, degreasing operations, hauling and talking cleaning jobs also increase the risks of Benzene exposure and resulting chronic illness.
Benzene exposure can lead cancer or anemia. The three most common types of cancers linked to Benzene are Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns those with a potential for Benzene exposure to immediately contact their doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms as they could be indicative of one of the above-mentioned cancers: drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, headaches, tremors, confusion or unconsciousness. These cancers affect bone marrow and red blood cell levels.
Lawsuits have commenced on behalf of plaintiffs suffering from the results of Benzene poisoning and exposure. While worker’s compensation lawsuits are common, plaintiffs may also have the option of suing their employer under traditional toxic tort causes of action. A toxicologist may be able to evaluate the Benzene levels present in the body to determine whether the plaintiff’s condition was caused by exposure to the chemical.
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