Benzene Causes Cancer: Is it Actionable?

March 5, 2021

Diesel fuel and the exhaust created by its combustion has been linked to several adverse health conditions related to the blood and bone marrow. Studies have confirmed that at least one particular type of cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), is strongly linked to benzene exposure.

Pursuant to the Jones Act, which required vessel owners to maintain a reasonably safe workplace, if you are a seaman who has worked on a fishing vessel, tugboat, or any other form of ocean going vessel, and you have been exposed to diesel exhaust fumes over the course of your career and have recently been diagnosed with any form of cancer including AML that has been linked to benzene exposure, you may have a right to bring an action seeking damages against any of the vessel owners whose negligent practices unnecessarily and dangerously exposed you to these diesel exhaust fumes.

Here’s the thing – as we have mentioned in past articles, the fumes that contain benzene are often invisible. Benzene has a sweet, aromatic odor that, if you can smell, you are being exposed to at a dangerous level. Many experts believe that there is no safe level for benzene exposures. However, OSHA has published regulations governing the maximum permitted amount of benzene emissions. The link to OSHA’s benzene regulation can be found here.

Being diagnosed with cancer is devastating and if it should happen to you, you need all the support you can get. Count us here at Flynn|Wirkus|Young amongst those who can provide you support. We will scrutinize all the workplace exposures you may have had and determine the best legal approach to get results. We will begin with diesel but also establish evidence of any other toxins in the workplace associated with the illness at hand. We consult with top medical experts to prove your case.

If you find yourself in this situation and suspect that you have been exposed to Benzene in your line of work, and have developed a condition, please contact us today at 617-773-5500 or email us here for a free evaluation of your potential case.