Benzene Lawsuits in Columbia, Missouri
How are people most commonly exposed to benzene in the U.S.?
Benzene is a colorless and flammable chemical that is produced during natural processes like forest fires and volcanic eruptions, but it is also widely used as an intermediate to make other chemicals. In fact, it is among the 20 most widely used chemicals in the U.S. Over the last several decades, benzene has been used as a constituent in gasoline, a solvent for paint, plastic and rubber and a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, explosives, detergents and dyes. Additionally, it can be found as a natural component of cigarette smoke. For this reason, it is reasonable to assume that a substantial number of people have been exposed to benzene at one point or another.
Benzene does not necessarily pose a threat unless an individual comes into contact with this chemical in high doses and/or over a prolonged period of time. According to the current regulations that have been set out by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the permissible exposure level is 1 part per million over an eight-hour period of time. For short-term exposure, the permissible level is 5 parts per million. If an individual is subjected to any more than this, they may be at serious risk of developing lasting, and possibly fatal, health complications. For this reason, it is important that you seek medical attention if you believe that you were exposed under any of the following circumstances:
- Contaminated drinking water
- Air emissions from burning coal / oil
- Evaporation from gasoline service stations
- Direct physical contact with the chemical
- First-hand / second-hand cigarette smoke
- Employment in an industrial factory
- Fumes from solvents, glue or paint
Health Complications Associated with Benzene Exposure
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Risk Assessment Guidelines of 1986, benzene is a "known human carcinogen." This means that a substantial number of studies have concluded that exposure to this chemical can lead to the development of cancer—which, in this case, would be various forms of leukemia. It has also been determined that benzene can cause short-term health complications like drowsiness, unconsciousness, tremors, convulsions, rapid heart rate, etc. In rare cases, ingestion could even cause immediate death. Typically, however, victims of benzene exposure will experience one or more of the following health complications: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Anemia or a decrease in white blood cell count.
What should I do if I've been exposed to high levels of benzene?
If you believe that you have been exposed to an unhealthy level of benzene—either over a short period of time or over the course of several years—it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may be able to conduct a blood, urine or breath test to more accurately determine the level of benzene in your system, but this can only be done if you were recently exposed. You can also independently combat future health complications by following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They recommend that you stay away from future exposure, wash all areas of the body that could have been affected and discard any contaminated clothing.
If you have already begun to experience the symptoms of a related illness, however, more extensive measures will need to be taken. This starts by seeking medical attention immediately—especially if you believe that you could be suffering from the onset of cancer. From there, you can schedule a meeting with the Columbia personal injury attorney at Sumner Law Group, LLC and discuss your legal options. More and more cases of benzene exposure are being reported each and every day in the U.S., so our firm would like to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the harm that you have suffered—whether you were exposed as a result of your work environment or contact with a
Get in Touch with a Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has developed a serious illness after being exposed to benzene for a prolonged period of time, it is important that you discuss your case with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible. Our Columbia personal injury lawyer is well-versed in all aspects of Missouri personal injury law, so you can rest assured that your future will be in competent hands when you entrust the professionals at Sumner Law Group, LLC with your case. All you have to do is
contact our office at (866) 734-7829 or submit a free case evaluation form online to get started.