Industrial Workers at Risk of High Benzene Exposure, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
An increasing number of scientific studies link Benzene and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies Benzene as a top-level human carcinogen. Increased risks of leukemia, mainly Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), have been reported among workers with high levels of Benzene exposure in the chemical and petroleum industries.
Long-term studies of workers at three Ohio plants, which produced rubber sheeting with a benzene solvent provided the first medical evidence that Benzene causes cancer.
More recently, the National Cancer Institute and the Chinese Academy of preventative medicine conducted a long term study of over 74,000 workers at over 600 factories and found elevated cancer risks in auto mechanics, rubber and tire workers, paper mill workers and printers, gas truck driver and gas station employees.
Toxic exposure at the workplace has been a growing area of litigation in recent years as more and more people develop related cancers and conditions. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to assisting in filing wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits against negligent employers and companies who fail to protect their workers.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer who has represented individuals nationwide in toxic tort claims. If you have been exposed to Benzene, and have questions about your legal rights, please contact The Lyon Firm.
Benzene Products in the United States
Benzene is present in several common products, which makes exposure quite likely among most of the American population, especially those who spend a significant amount of time around the following materials:
- Crude oil
- Refined petroleum
- Charcoal lighter fluid
- Cigarette lighter fluid
- Safety Kleen
- Adhesives (contact cements, rubber cement and glues)
- Inks and dyes
- Mineral spirits
- Paints and coatings
- Liquid Wrench
Symptoms of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) causes a deficiency in red blood cell production which can lead to patient weakness, fatigue, dyspnea, impaired blood flow, and secondary infection. The disease may lead to ocular, cardiac, pulmonary, or cerebral dysfunction. It is typical for patients to suffer from flu-like symptoms for 4 to 6 weeks before any diagnosis.
It is critical to preserve all medical records and work history when considering legal action against an employer. To build the strongest case possible, plaintiffs should be prepared to present evidence of an association between workplace toxic exposure and related cancers or illness.
Benzene Exposure Known to Cause Several Disorders
How Are Workers Exposed to Benzene?
People are exposed to Benzene primarily by breathing air that contains the chemical. Workers in industries that produce or use Benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of the chemical. Cigarette smoke is a large source of Benzene exposure, though Benzene may also be found in glues, adhesives, cleaning products, and paint strippers. Outdoor air also contains levels of benzene from secondhand tobacco smoke, gasoline fumes, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.
A worker exposed to benzene for 40 years at the workplace is 155 times more likely to die from leukemia than an unexposed worker. Workers that maintain rubber manufacturing equipment and clean the facility are also at risk for long term benzene exposure and related cancers. Although they may not be working on the production line or directly handling products containing benzene, they are exposed in an environment with a concentration of airborne benzene fumes.
For workers who may be exposed to Benzene on the job, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges workers to protect themselves, and urges companies to properly protect their employees from these toxic chemicals.
Rubber Products which may Contain Benzene
Employees of rubber and tire manufacturing facilities on the production line also have an increased risk of developing complications and diseases from benzene exposure. Benzene-containing products are used in numerous steps during the production of the rubber and tires, and toxins are potentially released into the air around the following product lines:
- Inner tubes
- Rubber and plastic footwear
- Rubber and plastic hoses
- Rubber belting
- Sealing devices
- Molded, extruded, and lathe-cut rubber mechanical goods
- Other fabricated rubber products
If you or a loved one has suffered an illness due to Benzene Exposure and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.