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Workers at Risk For Exposure to Benzene

Chemical workers
Gasoline distribution workers
Refinery workers
Shoe/leather workers
Rubber workers
Pesticides manufacturing workers
Paper and pulp manufacturing workers
Adhesive production workers
Newspaper press workers

Benzene Facts

The federal Hazard Communication Standard requires that every chemical company that supplies a chemical product to your employer provide them with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS must identify all the hazardous
ingredients in the product, with exception to trade secrets.

Amounts as little of one cup of benzene evaporated in an area as large as a football field size building is 3.3 times the OSHA standard, 6.6 times the ACGIH standard, and 33 times the NIOSH standard.

Millions of workers may be exposed to benzene in the U.S. every year,
estimated at more than 3 million workers.

The EPA estimated that 50% of the U.S. population has been exposed to benzene by industrial sources, including oil refineries and chemical plants.

Gasoline fumes have 1,000 times the concentration of benzene recommended by NIOSH.


Exposure To Benzene

Workplace exposure to benzene has steadily increased in correlation with the chemical's increased use and production. During 1967, there were about 800 million gallons of benzene produced in the U.S., and by 1969, the amount of benzene increased to 1.2 billion gallons with approximately 16% of the productions derived from coal. Workers employed in industries that frequently use or make benzene—such as oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe or rubber manufacturers, and gasoline companies—face the greatest risk of high levels of benzene exposure. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that occupational benzene exposure is responsible for thousands of cancer deaths worldwide every year.

Benzene has been known to cause acute myelogenous leukemia and other forms of blood cancers and diseases. Businesses have known for years the dangers of the hazardous chemical but still allowed workers to be exposed to the carcinogen. Studies as early as the 1920s found a link between exposure to benzene and leukemia.

Benzene Health Hazard Information

High Levels of Benzene in Tonawanda, NY
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has just announced that Tonawanda, New York has exceedingly high concentrations of benzene, a known cancer-causing toxin, in its air.

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San Francisco Company Fails to Report Benzene

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined a San Francisco oil storage company $10,000 for failing to report a number of toxic substances contained in its inventory. Among these toxins was benzene, a liquid known to cause leukemia.

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benzene lawyer

Abandoned Industrial Dump Site May Pose Benzene Risk

An old industrial site where large volumes of dangerous chemicals, including benzene and butanone, were dumped near a school, a stream, and many houses, may pose serious health risks to residents and school children.

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benzene attorney

Residents Demand Old Oil Spill Investigation
A rare bone cancer occurs with alarming frequency near the site of a 1950's oil spill, and local residents demand a comprehensive health study.

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January 5, 2009
Michigan Steel Company Cleans Up Benzene

U.S. Steel Gary Works, one of the largest steel manufacturers in Michigan, is currently developing a plan to cleanup benzene that has been leaking into Lake Michigan for an unknown period of time.

Read Full Article...

More Benzene Exposure News...

Benzene and the Environment
Gasoline emissions are the predominant source of benzene emissions, but benzene in the environment also comes from burning fields and forests.
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History of Benzene
In 1967, just about 800 million gallons of benzene was produced in the U.S., and by 1969, it had increased to 1.2 billion gallons with about 16% of the production coming from coal.
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Workplace Benzene Exposure Limits

OSHA - The legal airborne permissible exposure limit is 1 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift and 5 ppm not to be exceeded during any 15-minute work period.

NIOSH - The recommended airborne exposure limit is 0.1 ppm averaged over a 10-hour workshift and 1 ppm not to be exceeded during any 15-minute work period.

ACGIH - The recommended airborne exposure limit is 0.5 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift and 2.5 ppm as a short-term exposure limit.

Because benzene has been identified as a human carcinogen, all exposure to the dangerous chemical should be completely avoided if possible because there may not be a safe level of benzene exposure. Because the identified levels of benzene exposure are in regards to air levels, skin contact may overexpose an individual.

Benzene Is . . .
a colorless liquid used mainly in making other chemicals and plastics, as a solvent, and is found in gasoline. The Department of Health and Human Services determined benzene is a known human carcinogen.

Exposure to Benzene
Exposure to benzene means that exposure to a concentration of benzene above one-half the recommended environmental standard.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to benzene at the workplace or at home, and would like to learn more about your legal rights, contact a benzene lawyer with our legal team. We might be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.

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