Research has proven a definite link between benzene and various forms of leukemia. Although benzene does occur naturally in the environment, it is also one of the main products used in solvents for industrial working environments. In addition, it is also used in making paints, pesticides, degreasers and is one of the chemicals used in the rubber industry. It is also commonly found in petroleum refineries because it is a naturally occurring compound of oil and gas. According to the National Cancer Institute more than 12,000 cases a year are identified as resulting from exposure to benzene.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists benzene as a Class A cancer causing agent that has been linked to leukemia. Reports linking this chemical to cancerous disease exist from as far back as 1928 and even as far back as 1897, there were case reports listing this chemical as the cause of blood disorders. Even the American Petroleum Institute recognizes that exposure to high levels of the chemical have definite links to leukemia among those working in the petroleum industry. These are only a few of many such reports that prove beyond a doubt that exposure to benzene, even in low doses does have acute and chronic effects on one’s health.
Although leukemia is the most common result of benzene exposure, the symptoms may vary from one patient to another. The most common symptoms of exposure include:
Loss of weight
Constantly feeling tired
A general feeling of malaise
Bruising easily and excessively
Unable to exercise as usual
Pain in bones and joints
Fever and infection
Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
Enlarged spleen, lymph nodes or liver
In addition to being linked to leukemia, exposure to benzene has also been linked to disorders of the respiratory system and of the skin. Some of the various forms of cancer that have resulted from exposure to benzene include:
AML – Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. In this disease cancer cells are found in the blood and the bone marrow and begin to replace the good cells eventually shutting down the system.
ALL – Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. In this condition, the cancer develops from an accumulation of white blood cells, which results in the malignant cells taking over the bone marrow.
CML - Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. In this form of leukemia, the blood forms rapidly in the bone marrow, blood and blood tissues, resulting in the failure of the bone marrow.
Hodgkin’s Disease/ Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A condition in which the cancer develops in the lymph nodes that produce the blood and help the body to build up immunity to infection and disease.
The highest risk of being exposed to benzene occurs for those working in industries where it is known to be present in high amounts. If you are diagnosed with one of the forms of cancer related to benzene exposure, there are lawyers quite experienced in handling claims of this nature. Any worker that develops a disease because of exposure to benzene or other chemicals in the workplace has the right to sue for compensation. With all the information that is available about the dangers of this chemical, industries should have procedures in place to minimize the risk to employees. These lawyers will help you with all facets of claiming for compensation without charging any money for legal fees. The cost of the legal fees comes out of the amount of the settlement you receive.
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