A man who formerly lived in Wood River, Illinois, claims his leukemia was caused by benzene exposure. He is holding the Wood River Refinery responsible.
Dennis Determan filed a lawsuit against Rust-Oleum Corporation and Turtle Wax, Inc. claiming they did not consider the safety, health and welfare of residents living near the refinery facilities. The suit was filed on June 20 in the Madison County Circuit Court.
According to The Madison – St. Clair Record, Determan lived near the Wood River Refinery for 20 years where he was allegedly exposed to benzene and chemicals that contain benzene.
Determan blames his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on exposure to benzene by way of inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption. The chemical is allegedly released into the air, dumped into water systems, and/or spilled onto the ground where the benzene infiltrates ground water and directly affects nearby residents.
AML is the most lethal of blood cancers, and, according to the American Cancer Society, benzene is a known risk factor for the development of the deadly disease.
Benzene is a solvent used in many industries and products, including the rubber industry, oil refineries, chemical plants, and shoe manufacturing. It is a key ingredient in gasoline and is also found in cigarette smoke, cleaning products, detergents, and paints.
When Determan was diagnosed in March of 2017, he then acquired immense medical bills due to the necessary treatment and required medication. According to Determan, he has been robbed of his life.
The companies are being accused of ineffectively testing and researching the effects their products have on health, and for disregarding the safety of the people living near the facilities.
Determan claims the companies failed to warn nearby residents of the danger of benzene and benzene-containing products. The complaint points out that the products were still used and were never recalled, even after the dangers of benzene exposure became known.