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benzene 247 articles

Woman blames fracking for high levels of benzene in son’s blood

A Denver woman appeared at the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission meeting and asked them to explain why her 6-year-old son’s blood tested positive for toxic levels of cancer-causing chemicals. “If it isn’t the proximity of 158 wells that are within a one-mile radius of my home and my son’s school, then where would you say this level of exposure to this environmental carcinogen is coming from? Where?” she asked. Elizabeth Ewaskowitz was worried about her son’s health and wondered if the nearby fracking could be a risk to her young child. Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at ... Read More

Industry workers more likely at risk for benzene exposure

Factory workers where steel or rubber is made or processed; workers in the printing industry or who work around printing inks; fire fighters who come in contact with toxic smoke; and workers in gas stations, shoe making or repair, and who work in laboratories may be exposed to the highest levels of benzene. The chemical has been linked to serious health complications, including blood cancers like leukemia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Benzene is one of the most widely used chemicals in the U.S., and is mainly used as an agent in the manufacturing of other ... Read More

Fire fighters at greater risk of cancer

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) erected the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor in 1986 to recognize and honor past and future professional fire fighters and emergency medical professional killed in the line of duty. More than half of the fire fighters named on the Wall of Honor since 2002 died from cancer, according to IAFF. “The toxic environments in which fire service members live and work have long been suspected to have an adverse effect on fire fighter health, and studies have backed that up,” the organization states on its website. Fire fighters routinely come in ... Read More

Jobs that put workers at increased risk for cancer

The rate of workplace-related cancers has declined in recent years due to an increase in safety regulations, with about 4 percent of cancers in the United States attributed to occupational exposure to carcinogens in the workplace, according to the American Cancer Society. Certain occupations, such as manufacturing, have been associated with a greater risk for cancer than others. Here is a look at some of the jobs that put workers at an increased risk for cancer. Construction – Construction workers are more likely than those in other professions to be exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly ... Read More

Cancer risk greater for people living near oil and gas wells

People who live within 500 feet of oil and gas wells face a lifetime excess cancer risk eight times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s threshold due to harmful air pollutants like benzene, according to a new study by the Colorado School of Public Health. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, used ambient air samples to estimate and compare risks for four residential areas. Populations within 500 feet of an oil and gas facility faced a cancer risk that exceeded 8.3 per 10,000. The EPA’s upper threshold for cancer risk is 1 in 10,000. “Our ... Read More

Benzene among dangerous chemicals in water at Marine camp

People serving or residing at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from the 1950s through the 1980s were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents including benzene, a known carcinogen, and may qualify for VA benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs has linked the chemicals in the water to eight conditions – adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease. Active duty, reserve, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for 30 cumulative days or more from Aug. 1, ... Read More

Documentary shows struggles of migrant workers exposed to benzene

A documentary screened earlier this month at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival (SIDF) follows the heart-wrenching journey of Chinese migrant workers poisoned by benzene exposure – toxic chemicals used regularly as inexpensive cleaning solutions in China’s smart phone manufacturing processes. The film follows Yi Yeting, who was a healthy, young ex-PLA soldier who excelled in martial arts before he started working for Foxconn in the consumer electronics industry. Now he is struggling to survive leukemia caused by benzene exposure in the workplace while taking on corporate and government interests from his hospital bed in an effort to protect others like ... Read More

New technology helps detect benzene in workplace

UV Spectroscopy is becoming a popular technology for monitoring benzene concentrations in the biochemical industry in an effort to protect employees from the detrimental effects of benzene exposure, which can lead to an aggressive form of leukemia, Engineer Live reports. More than 54,000 cases of leukemia were diagnosed in 2015, 20,000 of which were a type known as acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, according to the American Cancer Society. In many cases, this deadly disease could have been prevented. The Toxic Substance and Disease Registry linked the development of AML to recurrent exposure to benzene, a chemical widely used to ... Read More

Man sickened by benzene exposure wins fight for compensation

When Mitch LaPrade was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2005 at the age of 44, he was floored. “My wife and I were always trying to figure out, where do you get that? We didn’t even know what leukemia was,” he told CBC. Then his doctor asked about the solvents LaPrade used to clean the presses working as a pre-press technologist at a printing plant in Ontario. Benzene is a known carcinogen, and has been linked to various forms of leukemia. LaPrade said he was never given protective clothing like gloves or masks while on the job. When ... Read More

Benzene Levels in Colorado Boy’s Blood Trigger Fracking Safety Debate

A Colorado mother whose son has dangerously high levels of cancer-causing benzene in his blood says that she believes the nearby fracking wells are to blame. Elizabeth Ewaskowitz, who holds a doctorate of pharmacology and neuroscience from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, had her 6-year-old son tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in his blood because they reside within a mile of 158 fracking wells. The results showed that the boy was in the 85th percentile for benzene and 72nd percentile for ethylbenzene. Chronic exposures to both the VOCs are known to cause birth defects, blood ... Read More