Benzene is a sweet-smelling petrochemical that is colorless, highly flammable, and toxic. It is a natural component of crude oil and is an ingredient in gasoline. Many individuals are exposed to benzene in industrial environments, such as factories. Benzene can be found in many sources, ranging from gasoline and diesel fuel to tobacco smoke. Benzene is also a component of other chemicals, especially solvents used for oils, inks, paints, fats, waxes, resins, plastics, and rubber. Benzene is used in photogravure printing, and also in the manufacturing of explosives, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and dyes. Benzene has been classified as a “known human carcinogen.”
In part because New Jersey are industrial states, both have a history of benzene use and contamination. Benzene is found in air emissions from burning coal and oil, at gasoline service stations, and in exhaust from motor vehicles. Also, because New Jersey are densely populated in many areas, it is not uncommon for people to live near gas stations and other industrial sources known to release benzene. As a result, many people who live in New Jersey have unfortunately been exposed to benzene and some have become ill as a result of their exposure.
Benzene has been classified as a “known human carcinogen” for every route of exposure, meaning that the United States Environmental Protection Agency believes that there is sufficient scientific evidence that links certain cancers to benzene exposure by ingestion (swallowing), inhalation (breathing), or skin absorption (touching). Leukemia, a cancer of white blood cell tissue, has been linked to benzene exposure. Cancer is not the only concern for those exposed to benzene. Short-term exposure to benzene may cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation. It may also cause headaches, drowsiness, and dizziness. More long-term, chronic exposure to benzene can cause blood diseases (including aplastic anemia), excessive bleeding, and immune system damage. Women exposed to benzene may also risk the development of reproductive diseases, and benzene exposure during pregnancy may have adverse effects on fetal development.
Has the release of a hazardous substance or a pollutant in the air, water, or soil, made you ill? Are you concerned about the discovery of benzene contamination on your property, in your water supply, or in your community? If so, you may need legal assistance from environmental lawyers with experience fighting for victims of benzene and other hazardous chemical exposure. The Toxic Injury Lawyers can help ensure the protection and safety of your loved ones and property. Call us toll free at 732-355-1311 or submit your case inquiry here.
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