Benzene is a chemical often found in products such as rubber, paint and plastics. It is also common in products derived from gasoline, petroleum, coal and other fuels. Benzene is toxic because even the smallest amounts of this chemical can be hazardous for those who come into contact with it. Some of the most common sources of benzene exposure include industrial fumes and pollution of water, soil and air from toxic factory emissions.
Many workers in various industries are at risk of being exposed to benzene because it is common in a number of occupational settings, and can be found in products such as pharmaceuticals, dyes, explosives, and detergents. Toxic exposure typically occurs through inhalation of vapors from solvents containing benzene, or through skin contact.
Benzene is a carcinogen that often causes leukemia. It is classified under the EPA’s Risk Assessment Guidelines of 1986 as a Group A “known” human carcinogen, which means that it is known to cause cancer. Additional side effects and diseases include:
- Problems with blood and bone marrow production
- Immune, nervous and reproductive system damage
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Hairy cell leukemia (HCL)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Aplastic anemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplaspic syndrome (MDS)
- Hodgkin’s Disease
Short term effects of benzene include:
- Increase in pulse
If you or a loved one have been exposed to benzene and have experienced any of these symptoms or illnesses, you could be eligible to file a claim. Schedule a free consultation or phone a member of the Wilentz team today.