Benzene is a naturally occurring substance found in oil and other underground resources. It is also commonly found in gasoline and used in many industries for various purposes. However, the use of benzene is often limited outside of commercial use because it can be a dangerous carcinogen that increases the risk of developing cancer and other health problems.
If you or a loved one was exposed to high levels of benzene at work or in an accident in the Baltimore area, contact an attorney today to discuss filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. The Baltimore benzene exposure attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice might be able to help you get compensation for harm and injuries you suffered because of benzene exposure. For help understanding your rights and determining how much your case might be worth, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Dangers of Benzene Exposure
Benzene is a liquid at room temperature but can evaporate into vapor quickly. Benzene is heavier than air, so it can often sink to lower levels. In any industry that involves working around benzene, workers are at risk for benzene exposure, especially in low-lying areas or poorly ventilated areas. While benzene is found in most indoor and outdoor environments at low levels, increased levels of benzene can cause injuries and health complications.
Benzene is considered a human carcinogen, which means that exposure to it is linked to an increased risk of cancer in humans. This means that long-term exposure to benzene, even at lower levels, could increase your risk of cancer. If you were exposed to benzene without a warning of this risk, the choice of whether or not to take that risk may have been taken away from you unjustly. One of the most common cancers caused by benzene exposure is leukemia.
Long-term benzene exposure can also cause blood disorders and problems with the production of blood cells. It can also potentially cause reproductive problems or irregularities and potentially affect the baby if you are exposed to benzene while pregnant.
Exposure to benzene becomes more dangerous when there are high levels of benzene. This usually happens because of poor ventilation or a lack of safety gear in an industry that uses benzene for chemical production, manufacturing, or some other purpose. If you are exposed to high levels of benzene, it can make you physically sick by causing dizziness, vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, and other issues. At high levels, you can suffocate and die from benzene exposure. Ingesting benzene or getting it in your eyes or mouth can also cause itchiness and irritation as well as increase the rate of absorption into your body.
Causes of Benzene Exposure in Accidents and at Work
Benzene is used in a lot of manufacturing jobs and other industries in and around Baltimore. It is also commonly found in oil and other fossil fuels, so anyone working in oil extraction, oil refining, or oil transportation might be exposed. Benzene could also be found during excavation or construction, potentially leading to overexposure. Many of these exposures are below dangerous levels. Still, the law may require reasonable warnings and education on the risks of benzene exposure to allow workers to make a choice of whether they want to take the risks. In most other cases, exposure to benzene occurs because of an accident, lack of safety gear, or lack of proper training on how to handle benzene or treat exposure. Whether you were injured in an accident at work or outside of work, you may be entitled to sue for the injuries the benzene exposure caused you.
Some products contain high levels of benzene. Without proper warning labels or safety precautions, these products might be unreasonably dangerous. Victims of overexposure to benzene from defective or dangerous products may be entitled to sue the producers. Similarly, a worker who is not informed of the risks of benzene exposure at their job might be able to sue for the harm they faced.
In jobs where benzene exposure is common, workers should be properly trained and equipped to keep them safe. This means educating them on how to identify benzene and what to do if they are exposed, including what safety gear to use, how to properly ventilate the area to reduce exposure, and what to do if exposed. If the safety gear or ventilation equipment is defective, victims of overexposure may be entitled to sue.
Suing for Benzene Overexposure in Baltimore
If you were exposed to high levels of benzene at once or you were exposed to low or moderate levels of benzene for a long period, you might be entitled to sue the responsible parties. If you were injured by benzene exposure or developed a health problem because of conditions at work, you might be entitled to sue your employer. However, some of these lawsuits might be limited by workers’ compensation rules, so it is vital to talk to a lawyer about how to best receive the compensation you need. If you were exposed in another accident, you may be entitled to sue the responsible parties.
Talk to an attorney for help understanding how to prove fault in your case and for more information about what damages you might be entitled to. The case will often rely on your attorney’s proof that the at-fault party was “negligent,” and that your injuries were caused by an oversight or breach of a legal duty to keep you safe. Damages you can claim may include the cost of medical care related to the injury, wages you lost because of the injury or health conditions you developed, and damages for the pain and suffering of the exposure injuries.
Call Our Baltimore Benzene Illness and Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured or developed a health condition because of overexposure to benzene, call the Baltimore benzene exposure attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our attorneys today to learn more about what your case might be worth and how to proceed with your claim. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.