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Former employee files Benzene Exposure Lawsuit Against 57 Companies

Joe and Roxanne Pena filed suit on Jan. 11 against 57 companies, 62 defendants in total, in Jefferson County, Texas, District Court over benzene exposure, which they allege led to a life-threatening blood disorder. Several of the defendants named in the suit are oil and petroleum giants such as: American Oil, Amoco, Atlantic Richfield, Ashland Oil, BP, Chevron Phillips, Chevron USA, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, Huntsman, Motiva, Shell Chemical, Texaco, Union Carbide, and Valero. The plaintiff, Joe Pena, worked at Bayer Material Science as a chemical process helper for 12 years. During the course of his employment, Pena claims he was “needlessly” exposed to toxic ... Read More

Ontario Fire Contaminates Residents’ Water with Benzene

Residents near Smith Falls, Ontario, were forced to shut off their water for more than two weeks when a nearby fire caused benzene to leach into the groundwater. On Nov. 6, the popular flea market, Rideau Valley Market, near Smith Falls, Ontario, went up in flames. Firefighters responded promptly and kept the fire from spreading, but the chemicals from the burned materials released benzene into the groundwater. Residents near the site of the fire were forced to avoid drinking and coming in contact with tap water for more than two weeks due to contamination. “Which means that if you turn the water ... Read More

New Year Brings New Benzene Monitoring Requirements for Wyoming town

Jackson, Wyo., is best known for Jackson Hole, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, fishing and more. Recently, however, a new concern has been raised about the environment, particularly in the Karns Meadow area. Benzene has been discovered in a municipal well, a drinking water supply for Jackson. In a routine sampling that occurs once every three years, the amount of benzene found exceeded more than three times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detection level that signals a need for more frequent testing. Although the benzene was detected last July, the EPA didn’t notify the town until December. The ... Read More

Indoor Plants May Filter Airborne VOCs, Including Benzene

Having an airtight home may save on your energy bill, but it may also increase the amount of indoor air pollution. “Making a building airtight limits the exchange of fresh air,” says Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension educator, who also believes that indoor plants significantly reduce the pollution within the home or office. Enroth’s ongoing research gathers data about decreasing indoor pollutants using plants. “It is believed that most of these air pollutants are filtered out as part of the plant’s photosynthesis activities. The air cleansing process is ongoing, so long as the plant is growing and healthy.” Much of ... Read More

Former Chemical Plant Worker Sues For MDS Allegedly Caused by Benzene Exposure

Louis Gest, a resident of Santa Fe, Texas, has filed a lawsuit for more than $1 million against Chevron USA Inc., Lyondell Chemical Co., Shell Oil Co., and Motiva Enterprises LLC. Gest alleges that benzene exposure is responsible for his development of blood disorders. While Gest was a chemical plant worker, refinery worker and pipefitter from 1970 to 2005, he was exposed to benzene and benzene-containing mixtures. Gest claims the exposure caused myelodysplastic syndrome, as well as blood and bone marrow illnesses. He has also been diagnosed with cellular abnormalities and anemia. The lawsuit includes claims of negligence regarding the provision of information about how ... Read More

EPA hits Erie Coke Corp. with proposed fines of $500,000 for Benzene Pollution in violation of the Clean Air Act

Erie Coke Corp. is charged with a $500,000 civil fine for benzene emissions that violate the Clean Air Act after having been warned that leaks required repair. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered leaks of benzene during a November 2010 inspection at the Erie, Penn., plant, and immediately required the company to fix them. However, the EPA says Erie Coke Corp. never made the repairs. Now the EPA has filed a lawsuit charging the company with violations of the Clean Air Act, under which Erie can be fined up to $37,500 per day for each violation. The suit also includes claims that Erie “failed to ... Read More

Air Samples Taken at Albany’s Oil-by-Rail Confirm Exceedingly High Benzene Levels

Benzene is a chemical widely used in a number of industries and products, particularly the oil and petroleum industry. Most people remain unaware of the toxic danger of benzene exposure, which can happen by inhalation or skin absorption. Once benzene enters the bloodstream, it affects the bone marrow and blood forming cells, which damages white and red blood cells, as well as platelets. It is a confirmed carcinogen and has been linked to a variety of cancers and blood diseases in humans. Many people that work in industries where benzene is present have experienced benzene-related leukemia and lymphoma. The American Cancer Society ... Read More

Foundry Coke Maker Pays $500,000 To Settle Benzene Pollution Allegations

A Pennsylvania foundry coke producer has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it violated the Clean Air Act by failing to manage and report emissions of toxic benzene. The EPA sued Erie Coke Corp., a producer of foundry coke, a fuel usually derived from coal that is used to make steel and steel products, after an inspection of its Erie, Penn., plant found that it was releasing benzene into the environment. Benzene is a chemical that has been linked to leukemia and other cancers and life-threatening diseases. The colorless liquid ... Read More

Valero Reaches Agreement To Reduce Bay-Area Benzene Releases

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it has reached a settlement with the Valero oil refinery in Benicia, Calif., over its illegal dumping of benzene-contaminated wastewater into an unlined retention pond and other shoddy practices that threaten the environment and human health. Under the agreement, Valero will pay a fine of just $157,800. More importantly, the oil company is required to make infrastructural upgrades to prevent toxic releases and shore up its paperwork proving to the government that it’s in compliance with federal regulations. In May 2014, the EPA inspected Valero’s massive Benicia facility, which occupies about 900 acres in ... Read More

Montana Couple Sues for Benzene Exposure they claim led to Leukemia

Montana residents Cynthia Davidson and David Davidson have filed a lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court against 3M, BP, and The Glidden Company, among other companies, claiming they are responsible for benzene exposure they say led to Mrs. Davidson’s development of leukemia. According to Mrs. Davidson, multiple companies are to blame for her 2014 diagnosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a blood cancer. The lawsuit alleges the companies failed to “implement proper safety measures” to prevent her benzene exposure. She is seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages plus court costs. AML happens when the DNA of a developing bone marrow cell is damaged, and the cell becomes a leukemic cell, ... Read More