A Pennsylvania benzene lawsuit may be an option for people who were exposed to the common chemical and suffered serious complications. Benzene is a compound found in 20 of the most commonly used chemicals in the United States. It has been considered carcinogenic to humans and is reportedly known to cause certain cancers and adverse 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 Pennsylvania. 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 highly flammable, often colorless or light-yellow liquid chemical. It has a sweet odor and evaporates into the air very quickly. Benzene can be formed by both natural and synthetic processes.
Naturally, benzene occurs in volcanoes and forest fires and is a natural product of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke. Some industries use the chemical to create other chemicals, including plastics, resins, nylon, synthetic fibers, some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. Benzene is used extensively in the United States, ranking in the top 20 chemicals in terms of production volume.
Almost anyone can be exposed to benzene. According to the CDC, individuals could potentially be exposed to benzene through:
- The outdoor air, which may contain low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.
- Contaminants in the indoor air, such as glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents.
- The air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations, which may contain higher levels of benzene than in other areas.
- Well water potentially contaminated from leaks from underground storage tanks or from hazardous waste sites containing benzene.
One the most prominent sources of benzene is tobacco smoke. Likewise, people employed in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of the chemical.
Although most people are exposed to small amounts of benzene, some people in certain occupations and industries may be exposed to dangerously high levels of benzene. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), industries that make or use benzene may expose some individuals to the highest levels of benzene. Those industries include petrochemicals, petroleum refining, coal chemical manufacturing, rubber tire manufacturing, and storage or transport of benzene and petroleum products containing the chemical.
Side Effects of Benzene Exposure
According to the CDC, people who breathe in high levels of benzene may develop certain symptoms within minutes to several hours of exposure, including:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Symptoms related to eating foods or drinking beverages containing high levels of benzene include:
- Stomach irritation
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
In addition, direct exposure to the eyes, skin or lungs may cause tissue injury and irritation.
According to the CDC, benzene can potentially cause the cells to not work correctly. Benzene may cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which could lead to anemia. Exposure can cause damage to a person’s immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.
Long-term exposure to benzene can have serious effects on the human body, particularly the blood. Benzene may also lead to excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, potentially increasing the chance for infection.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), benzene may cause certain types of cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air may cause leukemia, a cancer of the early blood-forming cells. Other serious conditions linked to benzene exposure may include Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, multiple myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDL), myelofibrosis and myeloid metaplasia and thrombocytopenic purpura.
Pennsylvania Benzene Lawsuit Claims
Benzene lawsuits allege that some manufacturers and industrial companies have failed to warn workers and consumers about the risks associated with benzene exposure. In February 2016, a Pennsylvania state court jury reportedly awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to a man who claimed there was a connection between his development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and exposure to benzene after years of working with printing solvent made with benzene.
How a Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania. 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.