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Benzene Exposures and Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Published on May 11th, 2021 by Andrew Hughes

How Did I Get This Rare Blood and Bone Marrow Cancer?

Almost 20,000 Americans are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) annually. This aggressive leukemia often comes as a surprise following a blood test. After the AML diagnosis, treating doctors rightly concentrate on starting care, typically chemotherapy.  With some exceptions, most doctors don’t really try to determine what may have caused the disease. As a result, many AML patients never learn that their disease could have been caused by prior exposures to benzene.  

Most people we interview have never even discussed chemical exposures with their doctors. The treating doctors never learn that the AML patient on the examining table is a former pressman, or mechanic or riverboat captain who endured benzene exposures ten, twenty or thirty years prior to the AML diagnosis. With the help of our epidemiological and medical experts, Hughes Law Offices endeavors to determine whether the AML is linked to prior benzene exposures. The first step is to call 1-800-BENZENE and speak to one of our acute myeloid leukemia lawyers. 

Jobs that Increase Risk of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Working with or around products that contained benzene does not mean that you will develop acute myeloid leukemia. Typically, only those with ten or more years of regular, consistent toxic exposure are at an increased risk for this leukemia. Most of our clients worked in trades that involved regular exposures to benzene-containing products.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia - Benzene Exposures

Mechanics, plumbers, janitors, farmers, railroad employees, offshore workers, and printers are just some of the workers more than twice as likely to develop AML due to benzene exposures. Thankfully, most consumer products no longer contain toxic levels of benzene. However, gas station attendants, petroleum workers, and  tanker truck drivers are still exposed to benzene today through crude oil or gasoline vapors. Studies show these workers are more than 8 times more likely to develop AML over the general population.   Regardless of how your employer classified you, if you worked with petroleum-based products, you may be at risk.

Other Risk Factors for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Not everyone exposed to benzene develops AML. Conversely, not every case of AML is traced back to benzene. There are known risk factors for AML.  For instance, it is more common in older people, those with other health or dietary issues, or people with a family history of blood or bone cancers. Heavy smokers are also at risk for AML as there is benzene in cigarette smoke. Race and gender also seem to play a role with African Americans and men at an increased risk. Those who have previously gone through chemotherapy or radiation treatments for other cancers are also at risk.

When to Act?

In each state, there is a statute of limitation which limits the time from diagnosis for the filing of the benzene lawsuit.  For instance, in Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, you have two years from the date of the AML diagnosis to file the lawsuit. In New York, a party injured by a benzene-containing product has three years from the date of AML diagnosis to bring the benzene lawsuit.  The statute of limitations is often the first hurdle in any benzene lawsuit.*

Call 1-800-BENZENE to Learn More Today

People who regularly worked with products derived from petroleum such as degreasers, solvents, gasoline, motor oil, and paint thinners may have been exposed to unsafe levels of benzene.  The attorneys at Hughes Law Offices have years of experience working on toxic tort cases and are better equipped than most to know which products contained benzene and which ones did not. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AML and suspect that benzene exposures could have contributed to the diagnosis, call 1-800-BENZENE today and speak with an acute myeloid leukemia lawyer.

*The statute of limitation information above is current as of 2021, but is subject to change. Call us to learn the statute applicable to your claim.

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