Chronic Health Effects Of Benzene Exposure

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What is benzene?
Benzene is one of the most frequently used chemicals used in the United States. It is a colorless or light yellow, sweet smelling chemical. Benzene is highly flammable and evaporates into the air very rapidly; it also dissolves easily into the water.

Benzene is both naturally occurring and created by human processes. It is a produced by volcanoes and forest fires and is also found in crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. In addition, benzene is utilized to make other chemicals, include plastics, solvents, and resins. It is also utilized in the production of some lubricants, rubbers, detergents, pesticides, and drugs.

People may be exposed to benzene in a variety of ways. Many people can be exposed to benzene by breathing outdoor air, which contains low levels of benzene from motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, gas stations, and cigarette smoke. People who work in industries that use benzene or products containing benzene are susceptible to the highest levels of benzene exposure.

If breathed in or ingested, people may experience immediate effects of benzene. The symptoms of this type of exposure to the chemical include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, sleepiness, stomach irritation, convulsions, or death (as a result of high levels of exposure).

The effects of long-term exposure (over a period of a year or more) to benzine can be very serious.

Chronic health effects of benzene exposure
It has been determined that benzene can cause cells in the body to work improperly. It may cause bone marrow to not produce enough red blood cells, or it can damage the immune system and change blood levels of antibodies, causing a loss of white blood cells. In addition, benzene may be linked to mutations of white cells, causing them to not work correctly.

The effects of benzene exposure vary depending on the levels of exposure an individual experiences, the period over which an individual is exposed, as well as an individual's age and medical condition. However, long-term exposure to benzene has been linked to serious health effects and chronic illnesses.

Long-term exposure to benzene can have very serious effects on the blood. Benzene affects the bone marrow, which is responsible for producing blood cells. Adverse effects of benzene on bone marrow include anemia, excessive bleeding, and damage to the immune system, which can increase an individual's chances of developing infections.

In addition, long-term exposure to benzene has been attributed to changes in women's menstrual cycles, as well as a decrease in the size of their ovaries.

Benzene has been identified as a known carcinogen. This means that it has been determined to cause cancer in humans. People who have had long-term exposure to benzene can develop various forms of leukemia. Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the tissues that form white blood cells.

What do you do if you are suffering from chronic health effects as a result of benzene exposure?
In the event that you were exposed to benzene over a long period, or in high levels, and are suffering from a chronic illness as a result, you may benefit from legal assistance. A lawyer who is well-versed in benzene, its health effects, and laws surround it can help guide you through the legal process and determine what steps you need to take. With legal assistance, you may be able to make a case and receive compensation that can help cover the costs of medical treatments and other related expenses.

There are resources available, support groups, and other individuals that can help you cope with your chronic health issues.