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Protections for the Public, But Not for Tanker Truck Drivers

Published on May 7th, 2021 by Andrew Hughes

Tanker Truck Safety Systems

Being a gasoline tanker truck driver is dangerous for obvious reasons.  Gasoline is flammable and explosive. The tankers have multiple systems intended to protect people from catastrophic events. Manlids will seal in the event of a rollover. Electronic Stability Control systems can apply the brakes if sensors show the truck is traveling too fast on a curve. Safety valves and internal bulkheads and baffles secure gasoline in tankers in the case of an accident.  All of these precautions are geared toward preventing explosions and keeping gasoline from entering the environment. But gasoline is also one of the few products on the market that still contains hazardous levels of benzene. Benzene represents a latent, everyday hazard to gasoline tanker truck drivers.  And unfortunately, the dangers of long term benzene exposures to the tanker truck drivers are often overlooked.   

Gasoline Vapor Recovery Systems

Stage I Vapor Recovery Systems (VRS) capture vapors that would otherwise vent into the air while filing tankers or underground storage tanks. When California first mandated VRS, it was primarily intended to keep fuel vapors out of the environment and improve air quality. The oil companies eventually got on board, likely after they realized VRS reduced product loss and saved them money. VRS did reduce the benzene vapors drivers were exposed to when filling their tankers and underground tanks. However, VRS systems are not perfect.  Gasoline tanker truck drivers today are still exposed to more benzene than workers in just about every profession, and for that reason, they are at an increased risk of developing blood and bone cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). 

The Benzene Exposures of Fuel Tanker Truck Drivers

1.22 billion gallons of fuel is moved throughout the US each year.  This would not be possible without our gasoline tanker truck drivers. As noted above, numerous safeguards have been put in place to protect the general public and the environment from dangers associated with fuel transportation.  But the safety of the fuel tank drivers is overlooked with respect to benzene exposures.  These benzene exposures result in tanker truck drivers being at significant elevated risk for leukemia.  Protecting tanker truck drivers from chronic benzene exposures should become a priority as well. 

Benzene Exposures of Fuel Tanker Truck Drivers

Experienced Benzene Lawyers

The companies who overlook driver precautions will deny they are at fault when drivers develop leukemia. We work with experts who understand the connection between the benzene in fuels and these blood and bone marrow cancers.  If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AML, MDS, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or multiple myeloma, call 1-800-BENZENE and speak with a benzene attorney at no cost or obligation.  Your time to file a claim is limited.  Call today.

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