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Benzene Exposure at Gas Stations Ups Cancer Risk for Staff

Benzene is a highly flammable, colorless, chemical that has a sweet smell. It is a natural component of gasoline, and is also used as a gasoline additive to increase the octane rating. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies benzene as a known carcinogen proven to cause various types of cancer, including leukemia. Despite this, lawsuits based on benzene exposure are difficult undertakings. 

Benzene Emissions from Gas Stations

Although benzene in gasoline is regulated, gas station attendants and mechanics are at high risk for AML due to ongoing exposure. It is not uncommon for gas to  be spilled on auto body shop floors or splashed onto clothing. Because benzene has a very high evaporation rate, inhalation is the most common type of exposure. Once gasoline fumes are  inhaled, the benzene can then be absorbed into the lungs.  

Due to its degreasing effects, gasoline was once a staple in many auto shops. Buckets of gas were kept for cleaning engine parts and washing hands. As a result, employees often carried such a strong smell of gasoline it ends up in their vehicles and homes. Family members have complained about the smell of gas on their loved ones, and the odor later lingering in the laundry 

How AML Affects the Body

While levels of benzene in gasoline are regulated, long-term exposure can have harmful effects on the body. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a fast-growing cancer affecting blood cells and bone marrow. AML is one common type of leukemia caused by exposure to benzene, putting individuals who work with gas at high risk. 

AML is also sometimes known as acute granulocytic leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. It attacks white blood cells in the bone marrow, and prevents them from being able to mature and fight off infection. These unhealthy cells continue to populate and eventually overwhelm the healthy cells. 

Mechanic wearing dirty clothes lies on creeper to work underneath a car.

The benzene attorneys at Hughes Law Offices have extensive experience with benzene lawsuits and are dedicated to fighting on your behalf. We understand what is at risk and the importance of acting quickly. From beginning to end, we are here to help you, and to hold accountable those responsible. 

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