A New Jersey benzene lawsuit may be an option for people who were exposed to the common chemical and suffered serious complications. Benzene is a colorless, sweet-smelling chemical that is often derived from natural gas, crude oil or coal. It is a human carcinogen and is allegedly known to cause certain cancers and adverse health conditions, including some forms of leukemia and anemia. Affected individuals and their families may be eligible to pursue compensation with the help of a product liability attorney.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for New Jersey. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case we can connect you with an affiliated benzene lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a colorless, sweet-smelling chemical primarily used to make other industrial chemicals, including those used to manufacture polystyrene, ABS, nylon and other plastics as well as some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, explosives and pesticides. Naturally, benzene is found in crude oil, natural gas and coal. Small amounts of benzene have been detected in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, eggs and fish.
Because benzene occurs naturally and through human activities, almost everyone can be potentially exposed to benzene. Forest fires, auto exhaust, gasoline from fueling stations and cigarette smoke are all sources of benzene exposure.
While most people are exposed to very low levels of benzene, others may be exposed of high levels of benzene due to their occupation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “individuals employed in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of benzene.”
These industries include:
- benzene production (petrochemicals, petroleum refining, and coke and coal chemical manufacturing);
- rubber tire manufacturing; and
- storage or transport of benzene and petroleum products containing benzene.
Other workers who may be exposed to benzene because of their occupations may include steel workers, printers, rubber workers, shoe makers, laboratory technicians, firefighters, and gas station employees.
Side Effects of Benzene Exposure
Serious health effects can occur in individuals who breathe very high levels of benzene, or eat or drink foods contaminated with high levels of benzene. According to the CDC, high levels of benzene can lead to specific symptoms, including:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Eating foods or drinking beverages that contain high levels of benzene may lead to vomiting, stomach irritation, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and even death. Likewise, direct exposure to the eyes, skin or lungs can lead to tissue injury and irritation.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and OSHA, long-term exposure to benzene in the air may affect bone marrow and blood production, which could lead to anemia. Additionally, individuals who have been exposed to the chemical have developed and died from leukemia, a cancer of the early blood-forming cells.
In most cases, leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, but some types of leukemia may start in other cell types. Symptoms of leukemia may include fatigue, weight loss, frequent infections, and easy bleeding or bruising.
Benzene may also lead to excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, potentially increasing the chance for infection. Damage to a person’s immune system could change blood levels of antibodies and lead to the loss of white blood cells.
Other serious diseases potentially linked to benzene exposure may include Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, myelofibrosis and myeloid metaplasia and thrombocytopenic purpura.
New Jersey Benzene Lawsuit Claims
Lawsuits allege that some manufacturers and industrial companies have failed to warn workers and consumers about the risks associated with benzene exposure. Plaintiffs have claimed a connection between the development of serious conditions, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome. As a result of these serious conditions, lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs suffered additional complications waiting for treatment.
How a New Jersey Benzene Lawsuit Can Help
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by the fault of others may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for New Jersey. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.