Exposure to hazardous chemicals can have serious effects. Benzene exposure is a relatively common form of chemical exposure which one hears about in the news from time to time, and often involves workers who claim to have been exposed to the toxic substance in the course of their work.
Benzene is used to manufacture a variety of products and to make other chemicals used in manufacturing various products, so it is a common substance for workers to be exposed to in some settings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, benzene, which may be absorbed through the skin or through inhalation, can have serious long-term consequences on one’s health, including decreasing one’s red blood cell count, leading to anemia, uncontrolled bleeding and depression of the immune system. Women who are exposed to benzene over a long period of time can notice irregular menstrual periods. Long-term exposure can also lead to cancer.
Federal labor law regulates how much exposure workers may have to benzene. The time-weighted average limit, as it is called, prohibits employers from exposing workers to a time weighted average of one part per million airborne benzene over 8 hours time. There is also a short-term exposure limit of five parts per million on average over any given 15 minutes of time. Various other rules are in place to ensure proper monitoring of benzene exposure.
Employers who fail in their duty to keep benzene exposure down put their workers at risk and open themselves up to workers’ compensation liability, as well as potential personal injury liability and toxic tort litigation.
Our firm is committed to zealously representing the rights and interests of those who have been wrongfully exposed to toxic substances, and to working hard so that they have the best opportunity to receive the compensation due to them.