This benzene facts page is intended to provide information related to workers diagnosed with leukemia cancer or some blood disease that might be related to their past exposures to benzene on the job or in the workplace.
Benzene Use Past and Present
- In the past, benzene was used directly as a solvent.
- And for many years, but no longer, benzene was an ingredient in solvents, paints, cements, printing inks, glues, and other petroleum-based products.
- Today, benzene is a contaminant in petroleum hydrocarbon products, because it exists in crude oil from which products are refined.
- Benzene can still be found in workplaces that manufacture plastics and petrochemicals.
- Lastly, benzene is an additive in gasoline.
Benzene Science Fundamentals
- Benzene is a light aromatic hydrocarbon chemical.
- The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a Permissible Exposure Level (PEL) for occupational exposures to benzene at 1 part per million (ppm) on an 8-hour time-weighted average.
- This OSHA benzene PEL might be regarded as the “safe” level for benzene exposures in the workplace.
- However, this benzene PEL is below the level at which most people can detect the aromatic odor of benzene. That means workers might not smell benzene until it is at a harmful level.
Benzene Medical Conditions
- Benzene is universally recognized as a human carcinogen.
- Benzene exposure causes leukemia cancers and various blood diseases.
- Medical studies have shown that cumulative exposures of benzene of 1 part per million years (a total of 1 ppm over the course of a year) are sufficient to cause leukemia and blood diseases.
- The latency period — or “lag time” / delay — from a person’s benzene exposure to their development and diagnosis of leukemia cancer or blood disease ranges from as little as a few months to as much as 30 years.
Benzene Legal Cases
- Because of this potentially long latency period, any person who worked with or around benzene should be asked about all the many years of their work history.
- That is, with any potential benzene lawsuit plaintiff or workers’ compensation claimant, the experienced benzene attorney will carefully evaluate all past jobs and workplaces in order to determine where this worker had sufficient benzene exposure to cause their leukemia cancer or blood disease.
- The allegations and legal claims usually found in benzene lawsuits are based on product liability law and premises liability law.
- Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, but those benzene claims usually have to do with increased risks of leukemia cancers or blood diseases due to a person’s employment.
The information presented on this benzene facts page might suggest there is a possible benzene lawsuit or a possible benzene workers’ compensation claim for you, a family member, or someone else you know. That benzene case could be for the worker diagnosed with leukemia cancer or some blood disease. Or it could be a case involving such a worker who died in the past several years.
If so, we encourage you to submit a Benzene Case Review – it is free, confidential, and there is no obligation. Or, if you prefer, call our toll-free number, (800) 426-9535, to speak directly to attorney Tom Lamb about a possible benzene case.
For more information, view our Benzene Overview page, or our Frequently Asked Questions page.