Benzene is a chemical that occurs both naturally and as a result of human manufacturing. Benzene is a highly flammable liquid with a sweet smell, and can be either colorless or light yellow in appearance. Benzene is an important component of both gasoline and crude oil, and is used in the production of lubricants, detergents, rubbers and much more. In fact, Benzene ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume within the United States.
Despite its many uses and high production volume, Benzene is a hazardous chemical that has been linked to Acute Meyloid Leukemia (AML). AML is a dangerous form of cancer that impacts both the blood stream and bone marrow.
Acute Meyloid Leukemia (AML) Risk Factors
Benzene has been classified as a carcinogen by several leading health agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). People can be exposed to benzene in several ways, including at work, in the environment or through the use of some consumer products.
- Workplace Exposure – The following types of workers may be at higher risk of AML due to exposure to Benzene:
- Oil refinery employees
- Rubber industry employees
- Chemical plant employees
- Steel workers
- Shoe manufacturers
- Lab technicians
- Gas station employees
- Environmental Exposure – Certain environmental factors can increase the risk of Benzene exposure for entire populations, including:
- Areas exposed to heavy fumes from gasoline, glue, solvent, rubber or paint manufacturing
- Areas with water contaminated by industrial pollution
- Areas of heavy traffic that are exposed to high levels of gasoline fumes and automobile exhaust
- Consumer Products – Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke accounts for about half of the exposure to benzene in the United States.
Signs and Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people that breathe in high levels of Benzene may develop the following symptoms within the first few minutes or hours after exposure:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Long term exposure to Benzene has also been linked to the development of Acute Meyloid Leukemia (AML). An early diagnosis is key to a successful AML treatment. Be aware of the following symptoms, as they may be a sign of Acute Meyloid Leukemia:
- Anemia, or low red blood cell count
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechia, or flat pinhead-sized spots under the skin caused by bleeding
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Bone or joint pain
- Persistent or frequent infections
Henson Fuerst Can Help
Many people that have been exposed to Benzene through no fault of their own are now suffering serious health problems. If you or a loved one developed Acute Meyloid Leukemia that you believe was caused by exposure to Benzene, the experienced North Carolina Product Liability attorneys of Henson Fuerst may be able to help.
Our experienced North Carolina Product Liability attorneys are extremely experienced in pursuing Benzene exposure claims. Call Henson Fuerst, today at (919) 781-1107 or complete a free initial consultation form. We will fight hard to ensure that justice is served.