An auto mechanic in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against multiple companies alleging his cancer diagnosis is linked to years of benzene exposure.
Steven J. Williams, who worked as an auto mechanic since 1982, claims his cancer diagnoses is due to having been exposed to benzene-containing products for long periods of time while on the job. He has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma after regularly using chemicals such as diesel fuel, solvents, paints, and belt dressings.
Benzene exposure most often happens through inhalation, but it can also be absorbed through the skin. Once in the bloodstream, benzene makes its way into the bone marrow, which causes cancerous white blood cells to be formed.
The companies named in the lawsuit include BP, Hess Corp., Safety-Kleen Systems, Sherwin-Williams, DuPont, Rust-Oleum, Shell Oil, ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum Corp., and others.
According to the lawsuit, none of the products provided adequate warnings about the potential dangers of benzene exposure, even though evidence of its risks dates back to the 1950s. Although benzene is present in the atmosphere in small amounts, workers who are exposed to the chemical on a regular basis are in particular danger of developing benzene-related illnesses and injuries. Benzene can also be found in gasoline and car exhaust, as well as cigarette smoke.
Benzene is a known cause of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), and has been linked to Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and aplastic anemia.
Other workers who are at risk for long-term benzene exposure are floor layers, carpet cleaners, railroad workers, steel workers, and gasoline-related industries.
Source: Daily Hornet