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July 28, 2016

What to Know About Benzene Exposure at the Workplace

What Is Benzene?

Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless flammable liquid created as a by-product during the coal manufacturing process. It can be detected by a sweet odor, but should never be inhaled deliberately.

Benzene is commonly used as a motor fuel or as a solvent to degrease heavy equipment and machinery.

Where Can Benzene Be Found?

Currently, benzene can be found in a variety of industrial settings where it is used for several reasons, including the development of other chemicals. These secondary chemicals are used in the manufacturing of plastics, adhesives, and man-made fibers. The widespread use makes exposure to this toxin a risk for many employees at their workplace.

Although benzene has modern applications, it can be found in use as early as the late 1890s. Today, modern factories employ the use of benzene for a variety of reasons, which can expose workers to toxic fumes and habitual contact. Although this is an extremely volatile and dangerous substance, employers still create an environment that places workers in close proximity to it, creating the need for benzene lawyers.

The most common work environments where benzene can be found are:

  • Oil refineries.
  • Steel mills.
  • Chemical plants.
  • Oil and/or gas wells.
  • Factories that make or utilize coke batteries.
  • Shoe manufacturers.
  • Paper or pulp factories.
  • The rubber industry.
  • Dry cleaners.

The Effects of Benzene

Benzene has been categorized as a carcinogen because it affects the human body by disrupting cell functions so that they no longer operate and perform as they should. It also greatly reduces the production of red blood cells and causes the loss of white blood cells by reducing the level of antibodies a person has. This process leaves a person open to disease and illness in the short-term.

Over a period of time, exposure to benzene will affect bone marrow to the point of anemia, decrease immune system response, and create excessive bleeding. It is also a known cause for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, or AML, which is a cancer that grows rapidly in the blood and bone marrow.

 

The Need for Benzene Lawyers

Although the dangers of benzene exposure are well-known in every industry, many employers still put their employees at great risk on a daily basis. When someone is poisoned by this substance, families can be put into tumultuous circumstances with the advent of sickness, expensive medical bills, lost income, and the possible death of beloved family members.

Benzene lawyers are necessary in the fight against work exposures that can put you or your loved ones at risk. The lawyers of Goldberg, Perky & White have years of experience in benzene lawsuits and are ready to fight for you. If you suspect that you or your co-workers have become ill as a result of exposure to benzene,  contact a benzene lawyer at Goldberg, Perky & White to establish your rights and to safeguard your future today.

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