Benzene has been banned as solvent in the United States for over twenty 20 years, yet workers are still exposed by direct and indirect sources. People working with petroleum solvents containing benzene are at greatest risk, because Benzene remains in use in most petroleum solvents. By using the solvent ,workers may come into contact by breathing it into their lungs or may absorb it through their skin when applying the solvent. Millions of workers may be exposed to benzene every year.
Benzene products and close relatives include:
Metal Cleaners and Degreasers
Most Petroleum Products
Workers in the following areas are at risk:
Petrochemical Plant Workers
Industrial plant workers who use solvents
Oil Refinery Workers
Chemical Lab workers
People in the rubber industry
Paper and Pulp manufacturing
If you worked in the above industries for any length of time and get Leukemia or a rare disease benzene may be the cause. People who are exposed over long periods of time are at greater risk, but studies have shown that even small amounts of Benzene can cause cancer.
Smoking and certain inherited genetic traits are the other risks factors, but absent Benzene it is very rare that a person who has one of the few known risk factors for Leukemia will develop the disease.
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