My job had benzene exposure and I have been diagnosed with leukemia, what can I do?
If you have been diagnosed with leukemia, hopefully your doctor is treating your symptoms. Do not hesitate to contact a benzene law firm who has a winning track record in helping clients obtain large settlements for environmental toxins cases and workplace hazards cases. There is no reason to suffer alone. A settlement can help you get the best medical treatment, improve your quality of life, and provide for your family.
Is there a medical test to show whether I've been exposed to benzene?
There are tests that can be performed to show whether a person has been exposed to the chemical. Benzene can be measured by a breath or blood test. Both these tests must be performed shortly after exposure, as the chemical disappears very quickly from the body. In the United States, the maximum amount of benzene permissible in water is 0.005 milligrams per liter.
In the body, benzene is converted to products called metabolites. Certain metabolites of benzene, such as phenol, muconic acid, and S-phenylmercapturic acid can be measured in the urine. The amount of phenol in urine has been used to check for benzene exposure in workers. The test is useful only when you are exposed to benzene in air at levels of 10 ppm or greater and the test is done right after exposure.
How does benzene affect children? Children can be exposed to benzene from conception to 18 years of age. Children can be affected by benzene exposure in the same ways as adults. Benzene can pass from the mother's blood to a fetus. It is not known if children are more susceptible to benzene poisoning than adults.
Has the federal government made recommendations to protect human health?
The federal government develops regulations and recommendations to protect public health. Regulations can be enforced by law. The EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are some federal agencies that develop regulations for toxic substances.
Recommendations provide valuable guidelines to protect public health, but cannot be enforced by law. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are two federal organizations that develop recommendations for toxic substances.
Regulations and recommendations can be expressed as not-to-exceed levels which means levels of a toxic substance in air, water, soil, or food that do not exceed a critical value that is usually based on levels that affect animals; they are then adjusted to levels that will help protect humans. Sometimes these not-to-exceed levels differ among federal organizations because they used different exposure times.
Recommendations and regulations are also updated periodically as more information becomes available. For the most current information, check with the federal agency or organization that provides it. Some regulations and recommendations for benzene include the following:
EPA estimates that 10 ppb benzene in drinking water that is consumed regularly or exposure to 0.4 ppb in air over a lifetime could cause a risk of one additional cancer case for every 100,000 exposed persons. EPA recommends 200 ppb as the maximum permissible level of benzene in water for short-term exposures (10 days) for children.
OSHA regulates levels of benzene in the workplace. The maximum allowable amount of benzene in workroom air during an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek is 1 ppm. Because benzene can cause cancer, NIOSH recommends that all workers wear special breathing equipment when they are likely to be exposed to benzene at levels exceeding the recommended (8-hour) exposure limit of 0.1 ppm.
Should I be worried about a contaminated aquifer?
An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials such as gravel, sand, silt, or clay from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well.
Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and benzene have been measured since 1993 in a shallow, sandy aquifer contaminated by a late-1980's release of gasoline. Ground water contaminated by benzene and other toxic chemicals can affect the standards of drinking water. This is a public safety concern.
How does benzene affect drinking water? Benzene may be found in some public or private drinking water supplies. It may cause health problems if found in amounts greater than the health standard set by the EPA. In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires EPA to determine safe levels of chemicals in drinking water which do or may cause health problems. These non-enforceable levels, based solely on possible health risks and exposure, are called Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG).
The MCLG for benzene has been set at zero because EPA believes this level of protection would not cause any of the health effects described below.
The MCL has been set at 5 parts per billion (ppb) because EPA believes, given present technology and resources, this is the lowest level to which water systems can reasonably be required to remove this contaminant should it occur in drinking water.
These drinking water standards and the regulations for ensuring these standards are met, are called National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. All community water supplies must abide by these regulations.
How much does a benzene lawsuit cost?
You have no out of pocket expenses or costs. If Anapol Schwartz agrees to be retained*, we take your case on a percentage contingency basis. If you don’t win your benzene leukemia lawsuit, we don’t get paid. No recovery; no fees**. Anapol Schwartz has a winning track record fighting for consumers and workers just like you.
Contact Anapol Schwartz today about pursuing a benzene lawsuit either as an individual or class action.