Benzene and Leukemia
How Benzene Causes Cancer
Basically Benzene reacts with your cells and causes them to break. Your blood might not work correctly, and your bone marrow may become damaged. This is why one of the primary side effects of benzene is cancer of the blood.
The primary way that studies have shown the connection between benzene and leukemia is through studies that take a large group of people and measure the numbers. They ask questions such as…how many people who work in petroleum plants have leukemia as compared to those who do not.
For some more resources on how benzene does this see the following:
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1469721/ This is pretty technical resource but it gets deep into the science behind benzene and cancer.
Where Benzene Products are Found
Benzene is found both naturally and in “man-made” products. The largest concern is the higher concentration tha people are exposed to when they work in certain industries.
- Petroleum Products (gasoline and others)
- Strong Cleaning products such as parts washers
Find out if you have a Benzene case:
What Jobs have higher levels of Benzene Exposure
Benzene exposure is not limited to just these categories, but these are some of the jobs where we have seen higher levels of benzene exposure resulting in leukemia.
- Almost any Petroleum industry worker
- Petroleum transportation
- Auto Mechanics
- Computer Laboratory Workers
What is Benzene Poisoning?
Poisoning is really more of a sudden exposure to too much benzene. That is different from a slow exposure of time such as many years. Poisoning can produce symptoms such as
- Vision Problem
It is long term exposure however that can cause leukemia relatd illnesses such as AML, MDS and Aplastic Anemia. Often no signs of poisoning will ever occur and the first sign of trouble with leukemia is from different symptoms, or an actual diagnosis of leukemia.
Why is Benzene Toxic?
Without getting too scientific and complicated (There are many studies out there that can provide the deep scientific and technical analysis), benzene is taken into the body and metabolized and then changed into different compounds. Many of those compounds find their way to the liver and the bone marrow.
Now damage to the bone marrow is a key part of the leukemia process. These compounds that were formed by benzene exposure then damage the bone marrow in such a way as to create blood cell problems resulting in different types of leukemias. Leukemias are basically cancers of the blood.
Benzene Health Effects
Find out if you have a Benzene case:
How do I File a Claim?
These types of cases are very different. They require a lot of work ahead of time to determine which products you might have been exposed to. Once these products are identified, then we can figure out which manufacturers might be involved.
Then to file a claim, a lawsuit will need to be filed. You cannot just call up the company or try to do a negotiation with being willing to file. These cases are very different from an auto accident type case where you might be able to do that.
Who are the Cases Against?
These cases only involve the companies that made the products that had benzene in them and therefore caused the leukemia. These are called Product Liability cases essentially because the product caused the problem and therefore the liability for the injury falls on the manufacturer. More simply put, the company that made the dangerous product is the one responsible for the injury that you might have. Thus, the case is against them.
How long does the Lawsuit take?
These cases typically take years to finish.
Where are the Cases Filed?
Where a case is filed depends on a lot of different factors
- Where you live
- Where the corporations are that made the product
- Where the products were made
- Where you were exposed to the product
Most often the case is filed where you live.
Do these cases ever Settle?
Yes. Most cases settle eventually. Occasionally a case will have to go to trial against some or all of the defendants. That happens for a number of differnet reasons. You might not have a good case so the defense thinks it can win. You may have settled with some companies, but the others are not willing to settle.
Prepare you case as if it were going to go to trial and you improve your chances of a settlement.
How much will my case settle for?
Nobody knows, especially early on in the process. How much depends on so many things.
- Which companies have you sued?
- How badly have you been injured?
- Where is the case? Some courts are better than others.
- How has the judge ruled so far in your case?
All of these things come into play in determining how much your ase might settle for, if it settles at all.
How Long does it Take for Cases to Settle?
It depends on the case. The answer is similar to “Will my case settle?” How are the rulings going? Where is the case?
Most often cases settle after a substantial amount of disocvery has been done. Discovery is the pretrial part of the case where both sides are trying to figure out the facts of the cases.
It is even more common for cases to settle right as the trial is about to start.
How is my Family Involved in my case?
The lawsuit is filed in your name. If you are married, then the case may also include claims for your spouse.
If the cases is for an estate, (That will only happen if the person who was injured has died) then the executor of the estate runs the case. It is usually in this situation that more family members become involved.