Ohio Residents Exposed to Toxic Benzene Pollution: Benzene Attorney Explains the link between Benzene and AML and MDS cancers

Ohio residents who live near industrial areas where the air contains Benzene face a higher risk of developing cancer, according to a 2013 study. Researchers at Emory University found that the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was higher near industrial facilities that emitted Benzene, which bolsters previous studies that link Benzene to other forms of cancer including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

The study, published in the journal Cancer, raises more concerns about the toxic chemical that is found in a number of materials including crude oil and gasoline.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in 2011, more than 30 businesses were emitting Benzene, among other dangerous air pollutants. The EPA listed Chem Dyne in Hamilton, Ohio as one of its Superfund cleanup sites due to toxic contamination of benzene, asbestos and other chemicals.

Benzene Linked to Leukemia and Lymphoma

Benzene has long been linked to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in exposed auto mechanics, printers and paper mill workers, gas station employee and gas truck drivers, rubber and tire workers, and barge workers.

This recent study is the first to link non-Hodgkin’s to Benzene outside of industrial areas, and directly in residential areas. Several Ohio cancer incidents have health experts concerned:

•    Ohio health officials listed Benzene among dangerous chemicals during a 2002 investigation of several leukemia cases diagnosed between 1992 and 2001 in Marysville, Ohio.
•    An Ohio health agency also identified Benzene in connection with elevated cancer rates near a Chevron oil refinery in Hamilton County, Ohio in 2006.
•    In 1999, the Ohio EPA found that Benzene from the New Boston Coke plant in Scioto County, Ohio created an abnormal cancer risk.
•    Ohio’s largest Benzene emitter is General Motors’ Defiance Casting Operations in Defiance County, Ohio.
•    In Columbus, Ohio, the largest Benzene polluter is Marathon Petroleum.

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Some industrial facilities are responsible for benzene pollution, which is linked to cancer.

Does Benzene Cause Cancer?

Benzene causes bodily harm by damaging blood cells. The chemical can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. It can also damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and the loss of white blood cells. The health effects of Benzene depend on the amount, route, and duration of exposure.

Some studies have suggested links to childhood leukemia (particularly AML) as well as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and other blood-related cancers such as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults.

Who is at Risk of Benzene-Related Cancer?

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) represents the most common acute leukemia in adults. Approximately 13,400 new cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) are diagnosed annually, which accounts for less than one percent of all cancers and around 34 percent of all leukemia cases.

AML has a slight male predominance. Incidences of AML are relatively rare below the age of 40, and increases progressively with age. The median diagnosed AML patient age is 65 years. New studies suggest workers and residents near industrial areas are at a heightened risk of AML and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

There may be immediate adverse effects from Benzene exposure. Direct Benzene exposure to the eyes, skin, or lungs can cause tissue injury and irritation. People who breathe in high levels of Benzene in a short amount of time may develop the following signs and symptoms:

•    Drowsiness
•    Dizziness
•    Irregular heartbeat
•    Headaches
•    Tremors
•    Confusion
•    Unconsciousness
•    Nausea
•    Convulsions

Benzene Exposure Lawsuits

Numerous lawsuits from injured claimants have successfully settled, and reached jury verdicts, alleging that benzene exposure caused multiple forms of cancer. In 2016, a PA court found U.S. Steel liable for the cancer of an ex-employee. Benzene cases are notoriously complex, each requiring an experienced benzene attorney, with expertise in toxic exposure litigation.

Ohio Benzene Attorney

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If you or a loved one suffered an illness due to 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, a qualified and experienced benzene attorney, and he will help you answer these critical questions.