Safety Kleen & Auto Part Cleaners May Cause Benzene-related Cancers


Employees who handle Safety-Kleen products, Liquid Wrench or other hazardous solvents at the workplace may risk developing serious Benzene-related health issues, including cancers of the kidney and blood, Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Safety-Kleen solvents and other petroleum-based products may contain Benzene and other harmful chemicals, raising the risk of serious occupational illnesses. Acute exposure to solvents can cause irreparable damage to the lungs and kidneys, and long-term occupational exposure is likely to lead to cancer and other serious conditions.

Safety-Kleen, and Clean Harbors, boast of the versatility of its Cleaning products,, from the automotive to the oil industry, but downplay the risks of continually using the toxic chemicals. The company says it serves over 137,000 automotive customers, 42,000 industrial customers, and 64,000 more specialty customers across the United States.

Liquid Wrench, a product of Radiator Specialty Company (RSC Chemical Solutions), is another solvent used to lubricate, penetrate and protect tools and machinery. Liquid Wrench is marketed as a fast-acting, anti-seize agent that penetrates corrosion, and loosens rusted parts. However, the solution contains Benzene, a known cancer-causing agent, endangering the health of anyone exposed to the product.

These solvents, and others, may be used widely in many applications and areas of the workplace. Employees most likely to face exposure work in the following industries:

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer who has represented individuals nationwide in toxic tort claims.


The Health Risks of Safety Kleen & Liquid Wrench

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that Benzene is a toxic substance, and urges employers to protect workers against skin exposure and inhalation risks. The chemical properties in Benzene may harm blood cellular production, and is linked to cancers such as lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The Parts Washer Service, in which Safety-Kleen provides clients with a parts washer machine filled with solvent, is a leading cause for safety concern. Some of the machines consist of a tank filled with Safety-Kleen 105 Solvent, a solution known to be extremely toxic. Using the machine as intended, workers inhale toxic vapors from solvent aerosols, and it is also likely that solvent splash the skin of workers. Safety Kleen 105 Solvent is a product known to be made with multiple carcinogens and toxic chemicals, including benzene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, methylene chloride, chlorinated benzenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

According to a memo recovered from 1990 prepared by a Vice President of the company, the benzene content was not constant but varied significantly throughout the Safety-Kleen system.


The Consequences of Benzene & Safety Kleen Exposure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that millions of Americans face increased cancer risks from benzene and other common carcinogens found in cleaning products like Safety-Kleen and Liquid Wrench. Benzene exposure is linked to following types of cancer:

Cancer Victims File Suit Following Liquid Wrench Exposure

Injured victims of occupational Benzene exposure who have developed cancers and other related conditions, have filed lawsuits against the producers of Safety-Kleen and Liquid Wrench. Injured workers can file suit against the manufacturers as well as their direct employers after developing cancers related to toxic exposure. Employers have a duty to provide proper safety equipment and warnings. Plaintiffs have targeted companies making Safety-Kleen, Liquid Wrench, LPS Lubricant, 3M Scotchkote Electrical Coating, and Shellsol—all of which contain Benzene.

Safety-Kleen 105 Solvent not only contains benzene, but also contains chlorinated solvents, chlorinated benzenes, and other very toxic chemicals. A number of cases have been brought against Clean Harbors and Safety-Kleen for directly causing Acute Myeloid Leukemia, other cancers, liver damage, kidney disease, pulmonary disease, neurologic disorders, and dermatitis.

If you or a loved one has suffered an illness due to solvent or Benzene Exposure and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.