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Benzene Emissions From Arkansas Dump Fire Prompt Lawsuit

Concerns about benzene and other health threats emanating from an extensive and long-burning underground fire have prompted at least one family in Bella Vista, Arkansas to file a lawsuit. Bella Vista resident Curtis Macomber and his family are suing Brown’s Tree Care, alleging the company created a public health hazard by burning brush on the property, triggering an underground fire that has been burning since July. The fire is smoldering at the site of a “stump dump,” where the Bella Vista Property Owners Association once operated a collection area for residents’ leaves, tree stumps, branches, and brush. Bella Vista Property ... Read More

Benzene vapors at gas stations 10 times higher than thought

Vapors released from gas station vent pipes are 10 times more toxic than previously thought, according to a study by environmental health researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, bringing into question the safety of schools, playgrounds and parks in close proximity to gas stations. Gasoline vapors contain numerous toxic chemicals, including the carcinogen benzene. Benzene exposure has been linked to blood cancers like acute myeloid leukemia (AML). For the study, gas flow meters were attached to venting pipes at two large gas stations – one each in the Midwest and Northwest – to gauge measurements over a ... Read More

Seaman’s lawsuit says companies exposed him to toxic benzene

A Philadelphia man is suing a long list of corporations alleging that they exposed him to “significant amounts” of carcinogenic benzene and other chemicals during his employment as a seaman and crewmember on several U.S. Merchant Marine vessels performing ship maintenance and repairs. He claims benzene exposure contributed to his leukemia diagnosis, the Pennsylvania Record reported. Jose A. Vivas filed his lawsuit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against companies like Manhattan Tankers Company Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation (c/o Corporation Services Company), Sunoco (R&M) LLC, Hudson Waterways Corporation, U.S. Steel Corporation, Marathon Oil Corporation, Residual Enterprises Corporation, Sea ... Read More

Colorado health officials discourage blood-testing for benzene

Colorado health officials want people living near oil and gas refineries to stop having their blood tested for cancer-causing benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), arguing that the best way to deal with the public health threat is to monitor the environment. Residents living near drilling sites in western Colorado have raised concerns about the fumes that the refineries emit and how they might affect their health. As a result, they have taken their health into their own hands, having their blood tested at laboratories. Marion Wells of Rulison said she has her blood tested regularly, and that her ... Read More

Wife blames spouse’s lung cancer on asbestos, benzene exposure at railroad

A Colonie, New York woman is suing her late husband’s former employer for exposing him to several toxic substances which she claims caused his fatal lung cancer. He died just four months after diagnosis. Susan E. Willis De Seve, on behalf of the estate of her husband Kevin C. De. Seve, filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against Consolidated Rail Corporation of Philadelphia (Conrail) and American Premier Underwriters (formerly, Penny Central Corporation and c/o C.T. Corporation System). Mr. De Seve worked for Conrail from 1969 to 1995 performing inspections and repairs in an environment where he ... Read More

LDS Church, Chevron face benzene exposure lawsuit

A former groundskeeper for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is suing the church and an oil and gas company claiming they’re to blame for his cancer diagnosis. Allan Flandro felt called by the Mormon church to voluntarily clean and maintain Red Butte Creek, which runs through the historic Mormon meetinghouse, the Garden Park Ward. His “often arduous” job – which he held for six years – often required him to come in contact with the creek water, mud and other debris while cleaning the area for weddings and other special events. What he didn’t realize is ... Read More

Benzene lawsuit names nearly two dozen companies

Travis Bergeron began working for a chemical company in Port Arthur, Texas more than 50 years ago, staying on the job for more than a decade. Now he claims the work gave him a deadly disease and he wants to hold accountable the companies that made him sick. Bergeron claims that while working for Sinclair Koppers from 1967 to 1978, he was exposed to benzene, a toxic volatile, flammable liquid chemical byproduct of coal distillation that is used as an industrial solvent in various products. Benzene exposure is linked to blood cancers including leukemia. Bergeron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, ... Read More

Companies seek new trial date for benzene lawsuit

Chevron USA, Shell Oil, Motiva Enterprises and Goodyear Tire filed a motion in the Jefferson County District Court to move a case off the September 2018 trial docket and place it on the September 2019 docket. The case in which the companies are named involves claims that they knowingly exposed a worker to toxic benzene, which he alleges caused him to suffer from a serious medical condition. Louis Gest filed his complaint on Sept. 9, 2016, and a trial date was set for September 2018. Earlier this month, the companies said they have conducted preliminary discovery and wanted to push ... Read More

Texas man sues 21 companies alleging benzene exposure

A Texas man is suing 21 companies claiming that he was exposed to cancer-causing benzene while working with a chemicals and materials company in Port Arthur, Texas, which he says caused him to develop multiple myeloma. The case was filed on behalf of Ronald Smith, who was employed with Sinclair Koppers (sued as Atlantic Richfield) from 1967 to 1998. He claims he was exposed to benzene from the mid 1960s through the late 1970s. He says the companies knew that emissions of the carcinogenic chemical were released into the ambient air exposing workers to benzene risks. Yet they failed to ... Read More

EPA Proposes Benzene Cleanup Plan For Southern NJ Superfund Site

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is targeting a New Jersey Superfund site contaminated for decades with benzene and industrial toxins for cleanup, but environmental groups criticize the government’s proposed plan as a shortsighted failure. The land in question sits on 350 acres near the banks of the Delaware River in Gloucester County. Delaware-based Hercules Inc., a chemical and munitions manufacturing company, bought the land from DuPont in 1952 and continued to use it as a dump for lead and toxic waste until it closed in 2010. EPA testing found the site to be predominantly contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, and other volatile organic ... Read More