Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and laboratory animals. It is known to cause acute myelogenous leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, aplastic anemia and other blood-related cancers or conditions.
Several United States and International organizations have classified benzene as a "known human carcinogen." These include:
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO);
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and
- The National Toxicology Program (NTP), an agency formed from parts of several different U.S. government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Where Does Benzene Come From?
Benzene is among the 20 most widely used chemicals in American industry. It is used mainly as a solvent (a substance that can dissolve or extract other substances) and as a starting material in making other chemicals. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke.
Medical Tests Measure Benzene Exposure
Benzene can be measured in the blood or breath, and breakdown products of benzene can be measured in the urine. However, these tests can only detect recent exposures to benzene. They cannot predict health effects.
Workers in industries that make or use benzene may have been exposed to dangerous levels of benzene. These industries include the rubber industry, oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe manufacturers, and gasoline-related industries. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Other people who may be exposed to benzene at work include steel workers, printers, lab technicians, and firefighters.
Contact a Texas Benzene Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured due to benzene exposure on-the-job, consult an experienced Texas benzene attorney to discuss your case.