Benzene Lawsuit Overview
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Benzene is a toxic compound, and a known carcinogen, that can have very serious effects on the body, both inside and out. While it is technically an industrial solvent, benzene also has a number of different uses, both industrial and personal. Its sweet smell led benzene to be used in hygiene products such as shaving lotions, household solvents and cleaners. It was also used as a popular ingredient to decaffeinate coffee, and in food products for many years. During this time, the effects of the compound were unknown. It wasn\'t until many people contracted—and even died from—diseases such as leukemia and anemia that the link between benzene and these illnesses was discovered. Since then, the use of benzene has been highly regulated, especially in manufacturing and other industrial capacities.
There is another frightening aspect to benzene, however. It is still used in a number of plastic products, products which are brought into our homes on a daily basis. While these do not pose large threats, there is still the chance for exposure. Benzene can occur naturally in addition to being man-made. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. These sources are very common and also do not pose large threats unless an individual is exposed to them for great amounts of time and/or in close proximity.
People can be exposed to Benzene in a number of ways: ingestion, inhalation, and by absorbing it through the skin. Ingestion can be from foods or beverages, and many times people do not even know that it is in their food. There has been a lot of news about benzene leaking from storage containers, where it spills into the ground water and nearby water sources as well. It can also get into the water from manufacturing and building emissions in the air. Inhalation is the most common way people are exposed. Absorption through the skin is the most uncommon way to be exposed, but it is known to occur. Benzene may be mixed in with a substance such as a skin cream, and can be brought into the body that way.
Benzene works by causing our cells to not function properly. The most common way it damages the body is by getting into the bone marrow and causing havoc to the system that makes our blood. It can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, leading to anemia. It may also damage the immune system by causing the loss of white blood cells, making it harder for someone to fight infections.
If you suspect that your illness or disease is a direct result of benzene exposure in the workplace, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer. It is key that the exposure was in high enough amounts to make you sick in the first place, and also that the exposure could have been prevented—meaning your employer is also guilty of negligence. It is the responsibility of your employer to ensure your safety, take measures to minimize exposure, and follow the standards set forth by the government. If they fail to do so, they may be found guilty and be forced to pay you damages as a result.
In your search for a lawyer, look for someone who has extensive experience in the area of personal injury, particularly in the specialized area of benzene exposure lawsuits. Your lawyer should have this specific expertise in order to guide you through the process and help you get as much money as possible. Benzene exposure cases have their own nuances, processes and rules, so finding someone with this specific experience will be a major advantage as you pursue your case. Be sure that he or she has shown consistent results in the courtroom and has a history of winning cases. By taking the time to select the right lawyer, you are taking the right steps to getting your life back on track and getting the help you deserve.