ExxonMobil Workers Tested After Benzene Exposure
Several ExxonMobil Chemical Plant employees and contractors were tested for adverse health effects as a result of possible Benzene exposure, the Advocate is reporting. A liquid leak occurred at the Baton Rouge plant on Thursday morning. It was discovered by workers at approximately 4:35 AM, coming from a faulty bleeder line.
The liquid, which is known to contain benzene, became an immediate cause for concern. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes benzene as a powerful carcinogen, and the compound has been linked to numerous health problems. In large enough concentrations, Benzene can contribute to cancer, bone marrow failure, aplastic anemia, and several forms of leukemia. Benzene exposure can impact most major organs, including the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and brain.
The EPA website warns that even limited, short-term exposure to benzene can contribute to dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, eye irritation, skin irritation and respiratory problems. Studies have shown that Benzene can also lead to menstrual problems and birth defects, and unfortunately, the health effects are not always immediately evident.
So far, no health effects have been reported at the ExxonMobile plant, and all of the employees and contractors have been cleared to return to work, according to the company’s public and government affairs manager Stephanie Cargile. The leak was stopped by 5am, and is believed to have been isolated to a small area, including a nearby ditch. The company has launched an independent investigation into the leak and into possible health effects, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is also investigating the situation.
The amount of benzene to which workers were is exposed is currently unknown, according to Jean Kelly of the state DEQ, but is believed to be above the minimum reportable level of 10 pounds. The DEQ inspected not only the site of the leak, but the surrounding neighborhood as well, in the hopes of preventing the problem from becoming a public health issue.
The DEQ has not yet released its full report, but it should contain all of the organization’s findings, including any known health effects, the extent of the exposure, how the leak was able to occur and what could have been done to prevent the problem. The DEQ has seven days, from the time of their initial investigation, to complete the full report.
Benzene exposure is no laughing matter. If you have been exposed to this highly toxic compound, you will need a qualified Benzene exposure attorney on your side. You may be eligible for compensation, and a good attorney can help you to assess your rights and get the justice that you deserve. Do not wait another minute.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP is currently investigating Benzene exposure claims in all 50 states. For more information on filing an injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.