Benzene is a petrochemical that is colorless, highly flammable liquid that has a sweet smell. It is a natural component of crude oil and is an ingredient in gasoline. Many individuals are exposure to Benzene in work environments, such as factories. Additionally, cigarette smoke constitutes almost half of U.S. exposure to Benzene.
Benzene is a known carcinogen. Exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Gasoline or other storage tanks can leak and contaminate drinking water sources with benzene. Industrial sources can release benzene through incinerators or other industrial processes. Exposure to benzene can cause people to develop cancer other life-threatening diseases. Exposure can cause abnormal heartbeat, nausea and gastrointestinal symptoms, blurry vision, and unconsciousness. Furthermore Benzene can cause normal cells to malfunction resulting in anemia. Long-term exposure to high-level benzene can result in leukemia. Health effects will vary with duration and concentration.
Benzene can be very difficult to clean once groundwater or drinking water has been contaminated. Methods of addressing this form of contamination range from filters to different kinds of on-site treatment systems, which can be both expensive to run and vary in terms of efficiency. An individual can bring a toxic tort claim in federal or state court as a result of actual personal injuries, fear or future injury, or property damage related to exposure to a potentially toxic substance. Cases that involve medical monitoring of health effects, litigation may be necessary in order to insure that exposed persons’ medical bills are paid, that they are reimbursed for damages (including out of pocket costs), personal injury, and—where warranted—punitive damages. Individuals who have dirty drinking water or contaminated drinking water as a result of gasoline station releases need to ensure that their legal rights are fully protected
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