Benzene Lawsuit Attorneys Benzene Exposure Lawyers in California
We handle Benzene related injury claims from coast to coast. Benzene is a chemical which has been used as an industrial solvent in the production of various drugs, numerous manufactured products, plastics, dyes, as a gasoline additive and in synthetic rubber. It is a toxic substance. In 1996 Benzene was classified as a Class A carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Both OSHA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have concluded a link between Benzene and certain blood cancers after several years of exposure. There can be a latency (or delay) period associated with Benzene exposure that can be anywhere from seven to fifteen years. We have seen Benzene-related disease develop up to thirty years after exposure. The injury claims we handle are occupational ones, which means our clients are exposed to Benzene through their occupation or job or work environment. Most of our Benzene clients work in chemical plants, refineries, plastic manufacturers, steel mills, railroad related settings, mechanical shops, and other similar industrial facilities.
Long time exposure to high levels of Benzene can cause Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), and other forms of leukemia. AML is the most serious Benzene related leukemia.
Benzene exposure can cause leukemia, other cancers and various blood disorders.
Benzene, a known carcinogen (cancer causing chemical), has been used during the last two centuries as a solvent for various industrial, commercial and consumer applications. Currently, benzene is an ingredient in many commercial and consumer products, including paints, solvents, degreasers, pesticides, adhesives, dry cleaning fluids, lubricants, and chemicals used in the rubber industry. Exposure to Benzene can result in various ailments, including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute myoloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma and aplastic anemia (a precursor to AML).
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 12,000 cases of AML are diagnosed every year and many workers and consumers are exposed to Benzene daily.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a highly flammable, clear, colorless, sweet-smelling liquid used in the production of plastics, paints, rubber, resins, detergents, lubricants, drugs, pesticides, and synthetic fabrics. Benzene is predominantly found in petroleum refineries and is a naturally occurring compound of gasoline and crude oil.
Benzene Health Effects
Long-term exposure to benzene has been associated with several diseases, including anemia, leukemia, and conditions characterized by the depression of the immune system such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Benzene causes leukemia. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency classifies Benzene as a known human carcinogen. Even the companies who produce it and their industry lobbying groups agree on the danger. They confine their dispute to how much Benzene the body can take and over how long a period before cancer, illness and death occurs.
It has been known since as early as 1897 that Benzene causes diseases when doctors first linked it as a cause of aplastic anemia. Now we know it causes much more than that.
One hundred years later, in 1997, a report by the Canadian Occupational Board on Occupational Diseases summarized links between Benzene and the following diseases:
- Acute Myelogenous or Myeloid Leukemia (AML) - also known as acute myelogenous leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia is defined as a malignancy of blood-forming tissues that results in an excess of immature white blood cells. The malignant cells begin to replace bone marrow and normal blood cells cease to function. Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to: prolonged bleeding, skin rash, fatigue, bone pain, and weight loss.
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes - a group of conditions characterized by changes in the bone marrow that suggest a pre-leukaemic state.
- Secondary Aplastic Anemia - also known as acquired aplastic anemia, secondary anemia is defined as a failure of the bone marrow to form blood cells and is characterized by a reduction in all types of blood cells. Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to: fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate.
These conclusions rest on case reports, epidemiology, chromosomes studies, metabolic studies and experimental evidence.
Considerable evidence also links Benzene to:
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) - also known as chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia is defined as a rapid growth of the blood forming cells in bone marrow, body tissues, and blood that causes bone marrow failure. Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to: fever, bone pain, enlarged spleen, and fatigue.
- Chronic Lymphacitic Leukemia (CLL) and Multiple Myeloma have also been linked to benzene exposure.
- Multiple Myeloma
- Myelodysplasia - a condition characterized by the abnormal formation of bone marrow cells.
A number of studies report an association between Benzene and:
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) - also known as acute childhood leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia is defined as a malignant cancer characterized by an accumulation of immature white blood cells. The malignant cells begin to replace bone marrow and normal blood cells cease to function. Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to: prolonged bleeding, skin rash, fatigue, bone pain, and weight loss.
- Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - also known as lymphocytic lymphoma, histiocytic lymphoma, and lymphoblastic lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is defined as a malignancy in the lymphatic tissue (lymph nodes, spleen, etc.). Symptoms of this disease include but are not limited to: enlarged lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, and excessive sweating.
- Hodgkin's disease
Symptoms of the four major types of leukemia to which Benzene is related to are as follows:
- Weight loss
- Excessive bruising
- Abnormal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Enlarged spleen, liver, or lymph nodes
- Infection or fever
- Bone or joint pain
Current research, especially a large study in China completed in cooperation with the American National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic researchers, has demonstrated a link between Benzene and Lymphatic cancers. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 16, 1997) This study and others suggest a relationship between Benzene and all cancers, neoplasms, related to blood, especially AML (acute myelogeneous Leukemia).
Other suspected causes of AML include ethylene oxide, ionizing radiation, styrene 1, 3-butadiene, vinyl chloride and paints. The adhesives used in plywood, particle board and other wood processing plants have links to AML. This type of Leukemia does not run in families. AML normally has a chemical cause.
The most common cause, probably because it is such a common chemical, is Benzene. It comes from oil and petroleum. Manufacturers place it in gasoline, cleaners, adhesives and a huge assortment of other products used in the home and workplace.
The American Petroleum Institute's own spokesman has said, "We recognize that Benzene can cause Leukemia at high levels of exposure, say 25, 50 or 100 parts per million in the workplace." (Environmental Health Perspectives, March 1994) Independent studies (independent meaning a study not funded by an oil company or oil lobbying group) find it takes much less Benzene to cause AML. The independent studies show that the minimum safe level is 1.0 ppm which OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requires by law. Many medical, health and safety professional groups in and out of government recommended a level ten times lower, 0.1 part per million, for safety. For example, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recommends 0.1 part per million limit. The question is: How much does it take? How long does it take?
For adults and children sick with any Benzene related diseases, the argument about safe levels is nonsense. They are sick. The disease does not run in families. Chemicals cause AML. Chemicals cause the diseases whatever the exposure:
- It can take 30 years or longer for some Benzene related diseases to develop. Before 1978, high workplace concentrations were common.
- Children breathe more, drink more and eat more for body weight than adults. Children therefore place more Benzene into their small bodies per pound than do adults.
- More toxic metabolites (the chemicals found when the body breaks down Benzene) occur proportionally at lower doses than higher doses. (Henderson and Rogers, at Lovelace Inhalation-Toxicology Laboratory)
- Highest exposures occur in the petroleum industry: oilfields, refineries, pipelines, service stations, etc.
- Rubber workers have a very high incidence of AML. Tire builders washed tires with Benzene. Vinyl chloride occurs in high concentrations in rubber compounds. Vinyl chloride causes brain cancers, liver cancers (angiosarcoma) and AML.
- Other workers in the plastics industry experience more exposure to Benzene that leads to death. Environmental Health Perspectives, Dec. 1996, reported pilofilm workers had "a significant occurance of acute myelocytic or acute monocytic Leukemia (AML, AMLL) diseases. According to the study, AML results when workers breathe air with 1.0 parts per million of Benzene. This is dose dependent-the more Benzene, the more the Leukemia.
- Plywood and furniture workers have unexpected high exposure levels. The glues and adhesives contain some Benzene and also Phenols. The body breaks Benzene down into Phenols in the liver (Mary Smith, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkley). The Phenols then act on the bone marrow to produce Leukemias and related blood disorders. The bone marrow makes blood cells, so a chemical that acts on it affects the blood.
Study after study links Benzene and other chemicals to AML and other blood diseases: from shoe workers, to parts washers, to printers, to painters, etc. If you have one of these blood diseases or cancers, start looking for a chemical and immediately contact our law firm.
Our law firm handles Benzene, Vinyl Chloride, Ethyline Oxide, ionizing radiation, syrenl, and 3-butadiene exposure cases nationwide.
If you or a loved one suffered a blood cancer and you believe it was from Benzene exposure , please call us at (800) 718-4658 or email your inquiry to us. We will help you at no cost. We charge a contingency fee only. This means we only charge a fee if we obtain a recovery for you. If we do not obtain a recovery for you - you owe us nothing.
Please contact us immediately.
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