No Charge
Initial Consultation
800 308 9802

Benzene Lawyers

Benzene Attorneys Serving Clients throughout Texas and Nationwide

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society, studies show that benzene is a carcinogen, known to cause cancer in people and animals, and in particular, it causes leukemia and blood cell cancers. Those people at the greatest risk for cancer are workers who have been exposed to high benzene levels. Bush Lewis benzene attorneys deal effectively with the complexities of this litigation by using their decades of cancer litigation experience to help their clients. For more information about specific cases, see the Results section of our website.

What Is Benzene?

Benzene is a colorless, and a highly volatile liquid chemical produced by burning products such as coal and petroleum. Benzene’s sweet smell led to its use as an after-shave lotion in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. However, over the years, the adverse effects of benzene became apparent. Today governmental agencies regulate benzene use, reducing the allowed quantity of benzene in gasoline to one percent, an amount which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will lower even further in 2011 to .62 percent. Despite the potential health dangers associated with benzene, of all the chemicals used in the United States, benzene still ranks in the top 20.

Benzene is emitted in the form of exhaust from motor fuels like gasoline and from tobacco smoke. It is used as a chemical intermediate in manufacturing other products, and some key products that require benzene include:
  • Detergents
  • Pesticides
  • Explosives
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Dyestuff

Benzene is also used as a solvent for the following products:
  • Fats
  • Resins
  • Oils
  • Inks
  • Paints
  • Plastics
  • Rubber

How Benzene Exposure Occurs

The greatest exposure to benzene occurs with employees in industries that produce or use benzene during the manufacturing process. Because benzene is a natural component of petroleum, any oil related industry is prone to benzene exposure which includes oil extraction, refining, gasoline production and coking of coal. Incidence of benzene exposure is also high in industries such as rubber plants, chemical plants and shoe manufacturers.

Steel workers, printers, lab technicians and firefighters are among the types of employees with increased risk of benzene exposure. Federal laws regulate work environments to limit benzene exposure and various agencies are responsible for their enforcement. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits air content for benzene to one ppm (part per million) for an average workday and a maximum of five ppm during any 15 minute period. The EPA limits benzene concentration in drinking water to five ppb (parts per billion) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the same limit for bottled water.

Consumers are also exposed to benzene. The American Cancer Society attributes half of the national exposure to benzene to first and second hand tobacco smoke. Contaminated water is listed as another source of benzene exposure, along with exposure inside homes due to lack of ventilation in areas where paints, glues, gasoline and other products containing benzene may be used and stored. Other environmental sources of benzene exposure include benzene evaporation at gasoline service stations and factory emissions.

How Can Benzene Jeopardize Your Health?

Health effects from benzene can be classified as both acute and chronic.

Acute, Short-Term Inhalation Injuries Include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Unconsciousness
  • Irritated eyes, skin and respiratory tract
  • Red skin
  • Blisters

For acute and concentrated inhalation, symptoms may include vomiting, dizziness, rapid heart rate, convulsions and even death in certain cases.

Effects of Chronic, Long-Term Occupational Exposure Include:
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma
  • Other blood and bone marrow cancers

Benzene and the Gulf Oil Spill

Many people are concerned about how the recent Gulf oil spill will affect our lives. This oil spill now ranks as one of the largest oil spills in our planet’s history and is a potentially dangerous source of benzene. The spill is already showing devastating effects on animal life and our environment. The EPA set up monitoring stations to track various compounds, including benzene. Some stations detected benzene levels over 3 ppm, which is three times the OSHA workplace exposure limit.

According to the WHO, one of the major sources of benzene in water is from oil spills. However, up to this point, drinking water intake of benzene is minimal compared to food and air intake.

If you or a loved one is suffering adversely from what you believe is benzene exposure, experienced benzene attorneys can explain your legal recourse and rights to compensation.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Benzene Lawyer

Please contact our benzene attorneys at Bush Lewis to discuss your injury in a free initial consultation. Our firm represents clients who suffer from benzene exposure in lawsuits throughout Texas and across the United States. Seeking compensation helps you cover the high costs of medical treatment and income loss due to another’s negligence.

Know This Before An Accident

No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.