Benzene Exposure in the Workplace
The adverse effects that exposure to benzene can cause, especially over the course of a whole career, has been known for some time. Workers on the railroad are particularly vulnerable to exposure, as this exposure can occur at moderate to high levels over a number of years. Railroad workers can be exposed to benzene though contact with diesel locomotive exhaust or through work with solvents containing benzene. Despite evidence regarding the linkage between benzene exposure and development of cancer, these products are still used by the railroads. According to a report published by the journal, Molecular Medical Reports, both the toxic and carcinogenic effects of benzene depend on several factors, including, the levels and duration of exposure, the method of exposure, and individual factors such as age, lifestyle, or pre-existing conditions. While the general public is exposed to benzene through motor vehicle, service station, and cigarette vapor, it is the consistent and often long-term industrial-type exposure that has particularly been linked to the increased risk in developing cancer. Couple these systematic exposures with benzene’s ability to alter the genetic code of someone exposed to it and a situation arises in which eventual damage can later lead to the development of numerous types of cancer.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer and has been exposed to products containing benzene, asbestos, silica dust, welding fumes, solvents or diesel fume exhaust as a result of years of work on the railroad, call Doran & Murphy at 1-800-374-2144 or contact us through email.