Benzene, a clear liquid chemical that with a sweet smell, is very widely used in a range of products. This means that most people are exposed to this chemical is some form or another every day of our lives. However, this chemical can have deadly effects on those that are exposed to it for long periods of time or in high levels – in fact, Benzene has been classified as a Class A carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure to Benzene is thought to be partly responsible for the rise in cases of leukaemia amongst both children and adults.
Benzene is a chemical that also occurs naturally in the environment, but the major threat from this chemical comes from Benzene that is used in a range of manmade products. All sorts of everyday items are made with Benzene, including items such as detergents, plastics, synthetic fibres, dyes, rubber, resins, paint, and many other items. Cigarette smoke also contains this chemical, putting both smokers and passive smokers at risk.
The level at which a person is exposed to Benzene, as well as the length of time over which the exposure occurs, can determine the level of damage sustained by a person. This means that people working with Benzene, such as those involved in the manufacture of Benzene products, are at particularly high risk, as they are more likely to be exposed to the chemical for longer periods and at higher levels than other people. Where Benzene is concerned, long term exposure is classed as twelve months or more.
Because of the risks posed upon those working with this chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency has set strict rules and regulation that need to be adhered to by both employees and employers with regards to protection when working with Benzene. This can help to cut the risk of Benzene exposure damage, which proves beneficial to both the employer and the employee.
There are a number of side effects associated with long term or high level exposure to Benzene. Some of these effects cause discomfort and pain, but others can result in death. Some effects that Benzene exposure can cause include:
- Rapid heart rate
Benzene exposure is also responsible for the onset of leukaemia, and a variety of different variations of this cancer have been linked to Benzene exposure. The different variations of leukaemia associated with Benzene exposure include: acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, and chronic myelogenous leukemia.
For those that think that they may have been exposed to Benzene quite recently and at high levels, there are tests that can be carried out to measure this exposure. However, these tests will not be effective on everyone that thinks that they may have been exposed to the chemical – for instance, it can prove ineffective on those exposed to Benzene quite some time ago, or those exposed to the chemical on a lower level.
Benzene litigation has become big business over the years, and there are now a number of lawyers that specialize in this type of law. Those that think they may be suffering due to Benzene exposure are advised to seek medical assistance as a matter of urgency. It is also advisable to follow this up with legal advice, as you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained due to exposure to Benzene.
Although those working with Benzene are at increased risk of increased exposure levels and periods, the fact is that most of us are exposed to this chemical every day, and therefore this chemical can pose a risk to everyone to some degree.