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Chemical Workers

Chemical Workers & Benzene

Workers at chemical facilities are at a higher risk of developing blood and bone marrow cancers such as Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). These illnesses result from exposures to benzene during the production of petroleum products and distillates. Some of these benzene-containing products include mineral spirits, xylene, toluene and naptha. These products have a variety of uses, including as a cleaning solvent. Benzene is also used in the production of lubricants, dyes, pesticides and detergents.

chemical worker leukemia

Certain processes at petrochemical companies incorporated pure benzene. Workers drawing samples from vessels, gauging storage tanks or testing the product could get pure benzene on their skin and clothes. Other workers on the maintenance crew were exposed to benzene through the use of solvents, degreasers, and other cleaning agents.  Unfortunately, benzene can be absorbed through the skin. Benzene vapors leaking from tanks can be inhaled.

Leather gloves, safety goggles, and steel toe boots are no protection from the cancer-causing effects of benzene. Petrochemical companies were aware of the connection between benzene and certain cancers – especially leukemia – since the 1950s. Despite that knowledge, they failed to safeguard their employees and on-site contractors.

chemical worker leukemia

The chemical facility owners can be held liable for their lack of training and failure to supply protective equipment, and the product manufacturers are liable for failing to warn the end users of their products.

These cases are complicated undertakings. They often involve multiple legal theories and require many experts. Having experienced counsel is vital. While you focus on your recovery, let us do the work needed to prove your case. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with AML or MDS after a career in the chemical industry, call 1-800-BENZENE to speak with a benzene lawyer today.

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