Environmental Injury Attorneys
What is benzene?
is an aromatic hydrocarbon produced by the burning of natural products. Benzene is either colorless or light-yellow in appearance and smells similar to gasoline. It is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels. Benzene is widely used in the United States; it ranks in the top 20 of chemicals produced by volume (1).
What is benzene used for?
Benzene is used in the manufacture of rubber, plastics, various synthetic fibers including nylon, lubricants, drugs, dyes, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals.
Is benzene dangerous?
Benzene is classified as a cancer-causing agent (2) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
, is considered to be a hazardous material by the U.S. Department of Transportation
, is listed as a hazardous air pollutant by the Clean Air Act, and is considered to be a toxic pollutant under the Clean Water Act (2).
With exposures from less than five years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed and died from leukemia. According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration
(OSHA), exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production after only one year of exposure and can cause a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia, in addition to excessive bleeding and a decreased immune system (1). Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death. Ingestion can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, convulsions and death.
How are people exposed to benzene?
Workers are exposed to benzene through inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact. Workers using solvents can absorb benzene through the skin (primarily the hands) by handling rags or splashing solvents on their skin or by breathing in vapors.
Workers at risk include:
- chemical workers
- gasoline workers
- refinery workers
- newspaper press workers
- shoe or leather workers
- steel workers
- lab technicians
Everyday products we use which may be derived from benzene include our clothes, plywood, compact discs, paints, packaging, adhesives, and more.
What are the symptoms of benzene exposure?
OSHA lists potential symptoms of benzene exposure as:
Particularly serious diseases which can result from benzene exposure include:
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
What should I do I was exposed to benzene?
Prolonged exposure to benzene can result in serious adverse health effects. Always consult your physician for medical advice. If you or someone you know has suffered serious health problems after exposure to benzene, contact our law offices immediately for a free and confidential case evaluation today. We want to help you.
ToxFAQs for Benzene from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (www.atsdr.cdc.gov
). Accessed on 07/27/05.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition (www.hhs.gov
). Accessed on 07/27/05.
) for medical definitions. Accessed on 07/27/05
This law firm is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or associated with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, or WebMD.
At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we are dedicated to protecting victims' rights. We are an experienced personal injury law firm taking cases throughout the country. Our environmental injury lawyers have successfully defended the rights of thousands of clients just like you. Complete a free online consultation form or dial (866) 589-0257 to get the help you need.
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