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Benzene Exposure Lawyer

More than 70 years ago, an American Petroleum Institute study warned that there is no “safe” level of occupational benzene exposure. Yet even today many employers endanger the health of employees by exposing them to toxins like Benzene.

Benzene is a particularly dangerous chemical because it can take years from initial exposure until exposed oil refinery workers develop related symptoms of various cancers like Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

It is well known that Benzene vapors are easily inhaled and absorbed through the skin, potentially leading to cancers of the blood like leukemia and lymphoma. Heavy exposure to toxins multiplies the risk of cancer, so Canton, Ohio Marathon Refinery Workers who have worked for many years are at great risk of Benzene-related illnesses. If you have worked at Marathon and have fallen ill as a result of chronic Benzene exposure, you may have a claim against your employer.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Personal Injury Lawyer who has represented individuals nationwide in toxic tort claims. If you have been exposed to Benzene at the workplace, and have questions about your legal rights, please contact The Lyon Firm. 

Marathon Refinery Workers Exposed

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as many as 238,000 people in the United States may be occupationally exposed to Benzene. Many of these employees may not be aware that they are regularly inhaling toxic chemicals like Benzene, and the majority of workers are also unaware of the serious health risks that accompany exposure.

Marathon Petroleum workers are most regularly exposed to harmful levels of Benzene during the normal refining process and maintenance, but they face even further risks in the event of Benzene spills, chemical cleanups, pipe or valve leaks, pipe explosions, and line ruptures.

Even though Benzene is less common than it once was, exposure cancer cases are on the rise. Many heavy industries, including oil refineries like the Marathon Canton Refinery, have used Benzene and other chemicals at work sites in vast amounts. Workers may be exposed by airborne particles, or through direct skin contact, which can enter the blood quite readily.

The Dangers of Benzene Exposure

Benzene exposure has a number of serious health effects. Breathing high levels of Benzene can result in certain cancers like Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Low level exposure is not initially as dangerous, which may cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness, though low-level occupational exposure for very long periods of time raises individual cancer risk significantly.

The most concerning health effect of Benzene from chronic exposure is damage to the blood. Benzene may damage the bone marrow and could cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia.

It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Some women who have breathed high levels of benzene for many months in occupational settings have had a reported decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is currently unknown, but suspected, whether benzene exposure affects a developing fetus in pregnant women or long-term fertility in men.

Medical Studies Determine Benzene Causes Cancer

Clinical evidence consistently indicates that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) can be caused by Benzene exposure. In addition, cancers such as lymphomas (solid tumors) multiple myelomas (cancers of the plasma cells) may also be linked to long-term Benzene exposure.

Many former workers of oil refineries, including Canton, Ohio’s Marathon Refinery, suffering from AML and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), have filed lawsuits against their employers, claiming the cancer is related to occupational Benzene exposures.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. They say long-term exposure to high levels of Benzene in the air is known to cause acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Other cancers may also be Benzene-related, including:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

Benzene Exposure Lawsuits

There is a wealth of health information and several damaging medical studies that suggest Benzene is a dangerous toxin, and employee exposure must be minimized to ensure the safety of all workers. However, employers like the Marathon Petroleum Company, which operates the Canton Refinery, have not yet lived up to their responsibility and properly warned and protected all workers.

Thousands of workers–auto mechanics, printers, barge workers, gas station attendants, petroleum truckers–across the nation have faced Benzene exposure and are now at risk of developing deadly diseases like Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.


Your Right to Safety

Watch our Video About Benzene Exposure

Benzene is a highly-volatile chemical used in gasoline and as a solvent in many chemical and pharmaceutical products. In 2010, the World Health Organization said exposure to Benzene was a “major public health concern.”

It is a concern because Benzene is a toxin that may cause blood cancer such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute non lymphatic leukemia. The IARC classifies it as a group 1 carcinogen. Benzene is considered as toxic as substances such as asbestos.

The American Public Health Association reports that three million workers in United States at auto mechanic and repair shops, gas stations, shipping loading docks, paint manufacturing plants, printers, gas truck drivers, and rubber manufacturing facilities are at risk.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 


(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.