Benzene Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer
Benzene is a known carcinogen that can cause specific types of cancer. Workers exposed in one accidental benzene release or those exposed to smaller quantities over long periods of time are at risk of benzene injury. Some benzene-induced diseases do not manifest until several years after exposure. Benzene exposure can also result from fracking, hydraulic fracturing of shale beneath the earth for natural gas extraction.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a colorless or light yellow liquid with a sweet odor. It is highly flammable and evaporates quickly when exposed to air. Benzene is formed from natural processes, such as volcanoes and forest fires, but most exposure to benzene results from human activities. Benzene is a natural part of crude oil and gasoline. It is also a byproduct of cigarette smoke. It can be used to make plastics, resins, nylon, synthetic fibers, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides.
Benzene ranks in production volume among the top twenty chemicals utilized in the U.S., yet many people remain unaware of its toxic danger. Benzene exposure through inhalation or skin absorption can cause life-threatening diseases.
Benzene has been linked to:
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL)
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
- Multiple Myeloma
- Aplastic Anemia
Benzene Exposure Side Effects
Benzene exposure can disrupt cell function in several ways. Benzene poisoning can cause bone marrow to produce inadequate numbers of red blood cells and lead to anemia. Benzene can also change antibodies’ levels in human blood, reducing the overall count of white blood cells. These effects damage the immune system and increase the chances of devleoping infection. Benzene can also reduce blood platelet count, leading to excessive bleeding. The severity of benzene’s adverse health effects depends on the amount, the means and the duration of exposure.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that benzene exposure through ingestion or inhalation can lead to several problems or symptoms:
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Long-term Benzene Poisoning Effects
Long-term benzene exposure effects can be severe. Several women who inhaled high levels of benzene decreased the size of their ovaries and interrupted their menstrual cycles. Whether benzene causes birth defects is not yet known, but animal studies have shown benzene exposure leads to low birth weight, delayed bone formation, bone marrow damage. Benzene has been shown in laboratory studies to cause chromosome changes in bone marrow cells found in human leukemia cells.
Causes of Benzene Exposure
Benzene exposure can come from many avenues. Fracking causes benzene releases. Outdoor sources include tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions. Indoor sources include products such as glue, paint, furniture wax, detergent. Hazardous waste sites often emit high concentrations of benzene, which can also seep into soil and contaminate well water. Underground tanks containing benzene can also leak and contaminate the soil and subsequently the groundwater. Those with the highest exposure risks include workers producing or using benzene daily.
Injured by Benzene? Legal Options
People exposed to and injured by benzene can utilize legal remedies. If you or a loved one has been injured by benzene exposure, compensation may be available by filing a benzene exposure lawsuit. Contact Matthews & Associates for a free legal consultation. Our benzene exposure attorneys can answer questions and help protect the legal rights of the injured. Call or email us today. Time limits apply to filing lawsuits, so anyone injured is urged to act immediately.