Many of our clients have worked in large manufacturing plants and therefore been exposed to many different products which can cause a number of cancers. Although asbestos is one of the most common, it is unfortunately not alone.
Benzene, known for its sweet odor, is a chemical which can be found in many products our clients have used throughout their working lives. The uses of benzene-containing products varied from cleaning machinery to loosening rusty bolts to lubricating drills. A few examples of these products include solvents and paint thinners such as Liquid Wrench and Varsol, and were very popular products for working very well. Unfortunately, the benzene in these products also causes cancer, according to the EPA, OSHA, and other agencies.
The EPA began regulating benzene in 1977 when it first recognized the increased incidence of leukemia in workers exposed to benzene. Since then, countless medical studies have emerged concluding that benzene increases workers' risks of not only leukemia, but also other blood cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
Most exposures are through inhalation of the fumes from the benzene or benzene-containing product, but exposure can also be dermal (through the skin). If the exposure does cause cancer, it is generally many years later, sometimes as much as 50+ years after the exposures.
If you have been diagnosed with one of the cancers noted above and believe you were exposed to benzene or a benzene-containing product, call Wallace & Graham for a free, confidential consultation.
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