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Benzene and Leukemia

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia | Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia | Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia






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Benzene has been identified as a human carcinogen that causes various forms of leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood-forming organs that originates in the bone marrow. Leukemia results in uncontrolled growth of marrow cells. Two major classifications of leukemia exist, myelogenous or lymphocytic, that can be either acute or chronic depending on their onset.

Exposure to benzene was linked to leukemia as early as the 1920s in a published study. Later, in the 1940s, the American Petroleum Institute noted exposure to benzene resulting in leukemia. The risk to workers exposed to benzene of developing leukemia was later published in an extensive epidemiologic study in 1977.

Currently, OSHA standards mandate a permissible exposure limit of 1ppm in the workplace during an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek. Despite these standards, it has been shown that exposure to benzene at even this level can result in serious health conditions. The NIH has found that there are more than 80,000 leukemia or lymphoma deaths in the U.S. every year.

Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Acute myelogenous leukemia is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults, affecting more than 10,000 adults that are diagnosed every year in the U.S. This type of leukemia is a blood cancer that develops in specific types of white blood cells that are used by the body to fight off infection. The white blood cells affected are called granulocytes and monocytes that are created from stem cells that have the ability to develop into different kinds of blood cells.

When acute myelogenous leukemia develops, white blood cells are not able to grow properly. The cells are not able to grow beyond a certain point early in development and cannot differentiate into functional types of white blood cells as a result of the disease. Why this occurs is not fully understood. Many acute myelogenous leukemia patients become anemic because the leukemia cells impact the production of healthy cells due to the lack of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Infections are more likely with acute myelogenous leukemia because there are not enough disease fighting white blood cells.

Acute myelogenous leukemia is often difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of the disease are very similar to flu or other common diseases like fever, weakness, tiredness, or aches in bones or joints. Since there is no staging for acute myelogenous leukemia, the type of treatment can vary from chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, and biological therapy.

Contacting our experienced and proven benzene attorneys may allow you to collect compensation for the potentially fatal health conditions that benzene is known to cause.

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute lymphocytic leukemia is a malignant form of cancer that develops in the white blood cells, or lymphocytes. Acute lymphocytic leukemia is rare, but these resulted from exposure to solvents containing benzene. The lymphocytes that are created from special stem cells can grow into different types of blood cells to perform specialized immune system functions, but when acute lymphocyctic leukemia is present white blood cells do not grow properly.

Although some experts question the relationship of benzene to acute lymphocyctic leukemia, there is some support in the liturature showing that benzene can, in fact, result in acute lymphocytic leukemia. It has been shown that this type of leukemia accounts for about 10% of all benzene-induced leukemia. Without treatment, acute lymphocytic leukemia can quickly progress to a life-threatening condition.

Contacting our experienced and proven benzene attorneys may allow you to collect compensation for the potentially fatal health conditions that benzene is known to cause.

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Chronic myelogenous leukemia affects the myeloid cells in the blood. Most patients with this form of leukemia can be effectively treated with drugs, but a cure is not considered possible with pharmaceutical treatment alone. Almost all of the patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia have abnormal chromosomes in most or all of the leukemia cells that are distinctive.


Contacting our experienced and proven benzene attorneys may allow you to collect compensation for the potentially fatal health conditions that benzene is known to cause.

Other Benzene Related Illnesses

  • Blood disorders
  • Benzene exposure can lead to a decreased size of ovaries, menstrual disorders, and impair fertility in women
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Immune system damage
  • Lung and bladder cancer

Contacting our experienced and proven benzene attorneys may allow you to collect compensation for the potentially fatal health conditions that benzene is known to cause.

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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 will help you receive the compensation you are entitled to.


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