Facts About the Dangerous Chemical Benzene
Benzene is among the top 20 chemicals used in industry in the United States. It’s a highly flammable chemical that is colorless and has a sweet smell. Benzene is both a natural resource and a man-made substance. Crude oil, where it occurs naturally, is the main source of most benzene produced today, but it’s also formed from volcanoes and forest fires. Environmentally, benzene is present in cigarette smoke, gasoline, and motor vehicle exhaust. It’s also used as a starter material in combination with other chemicals to make detergents, dyes, glues, lubricants, paints, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, plastics, rubbers, and other products.
Benzene Exposure in the Workplace
While the risk of exposure can be anywhere, workers who make or use benzene are often most in danger from the chemical. The most common way workers are exposed to it over the long term is by breathing in air that contains benzene. Even inhaling low levels of benzene over time can cause cancer. The toxin can also be absorbed through the skin or mucous membranes.
Workers who are more likely to be exposed to benzene include:
- Oil and gas workers
- Chemical workers
- Maritime employees
- Construction workers
- Production workers
- Shoe and leather workers
- Railroad workers
- Auto mechanics
- Laboratory personnel
- Rubber workers.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards regulate worker exposure to benzene and other hazardous chemicals. But for some unscrupulous employers, time means money, and money is more important than employee safety. Some companies may cut corners by not properly training workers, not providing protective equipment, not enforcing chemical storage standards, and not making sure other safety measures are followed. When this happens, workers can get sick.
Environmental Exposure to Benzene
The risk of benzene exposure also exists outside of the workplace. Benzene is present in cigarette smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke, accounts for about half of benzene exposure in the U.S. Additionally, people can be exposed to benzene from car exhaust, gasoline fumes, factory emissions, and contaminated water, as well as from paints, solvents, and other substances, especially in rooms or buildings without ventilation.
If you were hurt by benzene at work or elsewhere, call our law firm for help today. We will advise you about your possible options for getting compensation to help pay your medical expenses and other bills. You shouldn’t suffer in silence when you’ve been harmed through no fault of your own, because another party was negligent in controlling a toxic chemical.
Cancers Caused by Benzene Exposure
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have both classified benzene as a known human carcinogen. A carcinogen is something that causes cancer. The chemical has most often been associated with causing acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Leukemia is cancer of the blood-forming tissues. Benzene has also been linked to these other types of leukemia:
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Additionally, lawsuits have claimed that benzene exposure was responsible for causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma (MM), both of which are blood cancers.
Poisoning from Benzene Exposure
Coming into contact with large amounts of benzene in a single incident, either by breathing it in or ingesting it through the mouth or skin, is an emergency situation. Get medical attention right away. Symptoms of benzene poisoning can include:
- Vomiting and stomach irritation (if ingested)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
When very high levels are inhaled or ingested, benzene can be fatal.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a blood cancer and think you have been exposed to benzene at work or through products you have used at home, we want to help you get compensation. Call (713) 973-8888 to speak with a compassionate benzene exposure attorney.
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How Much Money Can I Get in a Benzene Exposure Lawsuit?
What money you may be able to get will depend on the seriousness of your injuries and how they affect your health and well-being. Compensation in benzene exposure lawsuits is based on damages. Damages are a legal term for losses that you’ve suffered because of your illness caused by benzene.
Types of Damages in Benzene Injury Claims
Damages in chemical exposure cases may include:
- Payment for current and future medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments, and more
- Reimbursement for lost wages for days missed at work
- Money for future lost income if you can’t work anymore
- Compensation for the pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, from your illness or injuries
- Punitive damages, in cases of extreme negligence.
If your spouse, child, or parent died because of exposure to benzene, you may be able to collect damages through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death damages may include payment for medical bills before death, funeral and burial costs, lost income, lost inheritance, lost love and support, and other losses.
Every case is unique in how much it is worth financially. Once we meet with you and learn about your situation, we can counsel you about damages and advise you about a value range for your case. Don’t delay in reaching out to the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant for your benzene exposure claim. The sooner we can get started on your case, the sooner you may be able to get compensation.
Common Questions about Benzene Exposure Lawsuits
There are Deadlines for Filing Chemical Injury Lawsuits, So Don’t Delay
If you believe your cancer or other injury was caused by benzene exposure, don’t delay in getting legal assistance. The deadline for filing personal injury claims, called the statute of limitations, varies by state. In Texas, where our law firm is located, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. It starts the day you were injured or discovered that you were ill.
Don’t be discouraged, though, if you are near the filing deadline. There are exceptions to filing deadlines. You should always speak directly to a benzene exposure lawyer to learn about the specific deadlines for your case.
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Reach Out Today to a Benzene Exposure Law Firm
We Have the Experience and Resources Necessary to Win Benzene Lawsuits
When you are suffering a serious illness like cancer, the money you could get through a lawsuit can go a long way toward relieving your financial worry. It can also pay for household help, childcare providers, and other assistance you may need as you fight your illness. But you shouldn’t have to face the complexities and stress of filing a lawsuit on your own—especially when it is against a company that is used to fending off injured people with the help of expensive lawyers.
The accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant will stand up for you when you are ill because of another’s negligence. Speak to a benzene lawyer today by calling (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 to learn if you may be able to get compensation. We provide free consultations.