Cincinnati Toxic Tort Lawyer Reviews Link between Benzene Exposure and Hairy Cell Leukemia for injured plaintiffs nationwide
There are no shortage of studies that make an association between occupational benzene exposure and deadly cancers like hairy cell leukemia. Medical experts and international safety agencies have long warned employers and workers that benzene exposure at the workplace may lead to occupational illness and disease.
Evidence compiled in studies published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) make it clear that Benzene is carcinogenic and directly causes acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), hairy cell leukemia and other forms of cancer.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S National Toxicology Program (NTP) have echoed the WHO warning and classifies Benzene as a known human carcinogen.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urge employers to protect workers against the risk of cancer. Should employers ignore the known risks of exposure, they may be held liable for injury and illness.
What is Hairy Cell Leukemia?
Hairy cell leukemia is a slowly progressing form of leukemia related to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The name comes from the fact that the affected cells have projections around the outside of the cell that look like small hairs. The condition is caused by bone marrow producing abnormal white blood cells that do not mature and are unable to fight infections.
The affected cancer cells multiply rapidly and crowd out healthy blood cells. Around 800 new cases of hairy cell leukemia are diagnosed each year in the United States, most of which are arguable caused by environmental factors and occupational exposure to benzene and other chemicals.
Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in an occupational environment has been linked to numerous types of cancer. Some people have no signs or symptoms of hairy cell leukemia, but some experience signs and symptoms common to a number of diseases and conditions, like the following:
- A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- Easy bruising
- Recurring infections
- Weight loss
Common Sources of Benzene Exposure in Ohio
Workers in several Ohio industries may be exposed to Benzene, including the rubber industry, oil refineries, chemical plants, steel plants, auto parts industry and gasoline-related industries. Benzene is also used to make some detergents, drugs, asphalt and pesticides.
Federal regulations limit benzene exposure in the workplace, though some employers are negligent and fail to protect workers. As a result, cancer rates and instances of hairy cell leukemia, have been found to be higher in studies of benzene-exposed workers.
Any workplace activity that includes the processing of petroleum products or pesticides and fertilizers can lead to toxic exposure. Industries that may expose workers to Benzene include:
- Petrochemical companies
- Petroleum refining
- Auto Mechanics
- Roofers & Road Pavers
- Fertilizer and Pesticide producers
- Rubber tire manufacturing
- Chemical storage facilities
- Steel workers
- Laboratory technicians
- Gas station employees
- Gas distribution and Truckers
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Benzene Lawyer and Ohio Workplace Negligence Attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in toxic tort claims. If you have been exposed to Benzene at the workplace and developed hairy cell leukemia or another cancer, and have questions about your legal rights, please contact The Lyon Firm at 800.513.2403 for a free consultation.