Health Problems Caused By Benzene Exposure
Last Updated on June 26, 2017
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At A Glance
- This Alert Affects
- Individuals with a history of benzene exposure who developed a serious medical condition, including anemia and leukemia.
- Breathing in minimal amounts of benzene can cause nausea, dizziness and headaches, while inhaling larger amounts can lead to tremors, unconsciousness, confusion and death. Individuals with long-term benzene exposure may develop anemia, leukemia, excessive bleeding or a weakened immune system.
- Chemical plant and oil refinery workers have the highest chance of developing side effects related to benzene exposure.
- Additional Details
- Benzene is used in a variety of products, including plastics, lubricants, glues, paints, pesticides, dyes and detergents. Benzene can also be found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust and industrial emissions.
Benzene is a sweet smelling hydrocarbon that is produced by burning natural products. A colorless liquid that evaporates in the air and slightly dissolves in water, Benzene is widely used chemical in the United States. In fact, in terms of production volume, Benzene is one of the top 20 chemicals produced in the United States, used in everything from plastics and synthetics to rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. While people usually do not come into contact with benzene in its pure form, many oil refinery and chemical plant employees are exposed to high levels of benzene on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of these workers are unaware of their benzene exposure.
Higher levels of benzene can be found in the atmosphere around gas stations and hazardous waste sites.
While chemical plant and oil refinery workers have the highest risk of benzene exposure, others may come into contact with benzene through the environment. The air may contain minimal levels of benzene from cigarette smoke, car exhaust and industrial emissions. Higher levels of benzene can be found in the atmosphere around gas stations and hazardous waste sites. In addition, people may inhale vapors from certain detergents, glues and paints that contain benzene.
A known carcinogen, benzene can cause anemia, excessive bleeding, and it can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, leading to an increased risk of infection. Breathing in minimal amounts of benzene can cause dizziness, nausea and headaches. Inhaling higher amounts of benzene can cause a rapid heartbeat, tremors, unconsciousness, confusion and death. In addition, eating foods containing benzene can cause convulsions, vomiting and irritation of the stomach. Those who are exposed to benzene for an extended period of time, particularly chemical plant and oil refinery workers, may develop anemia, leukemia, a weakened immune system and excessive bleeding.
The number of benzene cases is expected to grow considerably, as people become aware that they have been exposed to a highly toxic chemical.
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