Benzene Exposure

Benzene Exposure

Hall & Lampros protects the rights of persons exposed to benzene, including those with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma, and other types of leukemia and blood disorders. The effects of benzene exposure sometimes will not surface for many years after the exposure. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AML or another type of leukemia or blood disorder, and has worked in industries described below that have used benzene, you should contact us.

What is benzene?

Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable Benzene evaporates into the air very quickly. Its vapor is heavier than air and may sink into low-lying areas Benzene dissolves only slightly in water and will float on top of water

Where is benzene found, and how it is used?

  • Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities
  • Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke
  • Benzene is widely used in the United States . It ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume
  • Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides

What workers are commonly exposed to benzene?

  • Adhesive production Workers
  • Barge Workers
  • Chemical Workers
  • Dock Workers
  • Gasoline distribution workers
  • Industrial plant workers who use solvents
  • Newspaper Press Workers
  • Offshore Workers
  • Painters
  • Paper and Pulp workers
  • Pesticide Manufacturing workers
  • Pipefittlers
  • Printers
  • Refinery Workers
  • Rubber Workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Shoe/Leather workers
  • Synthetic Rubber Production workers
  • Tankermen
  • Truck Drivers

How you could be exposed to benzene

  • Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.
  • Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents.
  • The air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations can contain higher levels of benzene than in other areas.
  • Benzene leaks from underground storage tanks or from hazardous waste sites containing benzene can contaminate well water.
  • People working in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of it.

How benzene hurts

Benzene works by causing cells not to work correctly. For example, it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.

The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person.

Long-term health effects of exposure to benzene

The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.

Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.

Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs.

How benzene poisoning is treated

Benzene poisoning is treated with supportive medical care in a hospital setting. No specific antidote exists for benzene poisoning. The most important thing is for victims to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

For a free case evaluation, please call us at 404.876.8100.

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This web site is designed for general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.