Benzene is a carcinogen that can be found in many different products that are created from coal and petroleum. Not only can benzene affect you through the air you breathe, but also if it comes in contact with your skin.
Benzene is used in the manufacturing of many different products, including:
- Petroleum (Oil)
- Other Fuels
Benzene can poison your body, and exposure to it should be very limited. If you are working in an area with benzene for a long period of time, the maximum safe level of benzene in the air is 1 part per million (ppm). Even if you are only exposed to benzene for a short period of time, the maximum safe level is only 5 benzene ppm.
Benzene is used in the manufacturing of many different products; it can be identified by a few different names:
- Coal Naptha
- Benzol 90
Workers in oil companies and other places that use benzene in the manufacturing of products have developed and died from serious diseases like Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
AML is a disease that develops as a result of a defect in the bone marrow’s immature blood cells. Although the cause of AML is not known, the disease has been linked to exposure to benzene.
A healthy person creates new blood cells in their bone marrow. Blood is composed of three different types of cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. If a person has AML, then their bone marrow does not create enough healthy blood cells.
The bone marrow of a person with AML creates too many blast cells, or immature white blood cells, and as a result, the bone marrow does not produce the necessary matured, healthy red blood cells, platelets, or white blood cells.
AML is a very serious disease, and it should be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms of AML include:
- Too Few Platelets
- Bleeding Easily (nose bleeds or swollen, bleeding gums)
- Bruising Easily
- Pin-head Sized Dots Under the Skin (Petechiae)
- Cuts Heal Too Slowly
- Cuts Don’t Heal
- Too Few Red Blood Cells
- Pale Skin
- Tired Feeling
- Shortness of Breath
- Weight Loss
- Too Few White Blood Cells
- Bone Pain
- Increased Infections
- Sore Throat
- Joint Pain
- Abnormal Menstruation
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms and think you have been exposed to benzene, you should have a doctor evaluate your condition as soon as possible. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) is also known as:
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Acute Granulocytic Leukemia
- Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia (ANLL)
AML is a potentially life threatening disease; if you believe that you have developed AML as a result of exposure to benzene at work, then you may be able to hold your workplace liable for your injuries and medical bills.