Benzene exposure can cause a number of serious health problems, and people may be exposed to the toxic chemical through various sources. We have seen many different types of cases involving benzene exposure and think it’s important that individuals understand how it occurs, its effects and other benzene facts.
How It Occurs
Benzene is a widely used chemical in industrial processes in the United States – Individuals who live or work in industrial areas may face a greater risk of benzene exposure than others.
Benzene is also found in hazardous waste sites and underground storage tanks near gas stations. Leaks can contaminate groundwater and cause exposure.
Low levels of benzene exposure may occur in the outdoor air as a result of tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust.
Exposure to benzene can impair red blood cell production and cause anemia.
It can damage the immune system and cause the loss of white blood cells.
The Department of Health and Human Services has identified benzene exposure as a cause of cancer, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Exposure may affect fertility in women.
The health effects a person experiences depends on the amount and duration of benzene exposure, and also whether exposure occurred through direct contact with the skin, ingestion or inhalation. Medical advice should be sought any time benzene exposure is suspected.
Irresponsible corporate and industrial practices that result in benzene exposure may form the basis of legal actions, and individuals who have developed illnesses like cancer may be able to file or join a lawsuit to seek damages.