Benzene is a Class A carcinogenic chemical that can be very harmful when humans come into contact with it. Although Benzene is found in nature, it is present in petroleum products including gasoline. Benzene alone is a sweet-smelling clear liquid that is very flammable and evaporates quickly. Many people are exposed every day and don’t even know it. Prolonged exposure is especially harmful. As benzene is a common ingredient in solvents, plastics, materials, dyes, rubbers, cigarette smoke, resins, and other materials, many people are exposed without ever becoming aware of their risk. Benzene can be taken into the body by ingestion, inhalation, or skin exposure. Eye contact can also lead to injury. Benzene exposure in women can lead to reproductive problems.
If you worked with Benzene, you are considered to be at high risk. Benzene-related injury or illness often takes a long time to show up; some people may not display symptoms for decades. Even though we know Benzene is dangerous, it is still commonly used in industrial and commercial settings. The federal government has established standards for benzene exposure and the proper handling of the chemical. Proper equipment like protective clothing and goggles should be provided, and any spill over ten pounds must be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency.
If you worked in chemical manufacturing, pulp manufacturing, gasoline production or distribution, leather production, on a newspaper printing press, as an offshore oil worker, in pesticide manufacturing, as a pipefitter, painting, or as a dock worker, you may have a higher chance of prolonged exposure. If you encountered Benzene in your work, your employer should have provided safety equipment and closely monitored Benzene levels.
Benzene exposure can cause a multitude of symptoms and illnesses including, but not limited to, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, fatigue, joint pain, enlarged spleen, abdominal pain, convulsions, and a number of other problems. In more severe cases, Benzene may cause Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Acute Myelegenous Leukemia (AML), Aplastic Anemia, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Thrombocytopenic Purpura, and other cancers.
Employers who negligently allowed their employees to come into contact with Benzene, as well as Benzene manufacturers themselves, can be held accountable by someone who is injured by Benzene exposure when they decide to sue. Even trace amounts of Benzene are potentially harmful over long periods of time. In order to bring a lawsuit against the proper party, it’s important to speak with an experienced Benzene lawyer as soon as you believe you have been injured.
At Martinson & Beason, PC, our experienced Benzene lawyers will carefully examine your case. In addition to pursuing negligent employers and manufacturers, our attorneys also look to remedies through the Jones Act, and for railroad workers, FELA claims. We understand the severe health problems caused by Benzene, and the types of work where people are most likely to be exposed. Contact our Huntsville injury lawyers today for a free consultation.