Breathing Paint and Glue Fumes Could Lead to Benzene Poisoning
February 19, 2016 | Personal Injury
Lead, asbestos, and even mold may come to mind as dangerous substances before you think of benzene. Although benzene is one of the lesser known dangerous substances, it can cause serious health problems for people who have long-term exposure to it, such as painters and those who work in factories that use benzene for producing nylon, synthetic fibers, resin, plastic, dyes, rubber, drugs, pesticides, and lubricants. Benzene is a colorless or slightly yellow liquid at room temperature and quickly evaporates into the air. Its sweet odor may be detected in or outside when it gets into the atmosphere; one of the more common places for outdoor exposure is at a gas station. Because it is more dense than air, it sinks to low areas. In addition to its use in plastic products and gasoline, benzene is also present in crude oil and even in cigarette smoke. If you have been exposed to benzene at work or at home, contact an experienced New York dangerous chemicals attorney at once.
Benzene Exposure Outside and Inside
Hazardous waste areas, gas stations, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions all contain benzene and pose a hazard to those who regularly breathe them in. But indoor contamination is likely more dangerous due to lack of airflow and a heavier concentration of the toxic gas. The most common household products that contain benzene are paints, blues, furniture wax, and detergents. Benzene can also contaminate drinking water by seeping out of leaking storage tanks underground and contaminating wells. The most likely people to experience benzene poisoning are painters, smokers, and industrial plant workers.
How Benzene Poisoning Causes Damage to the Body
When benzene is inhaled, it confuses the body’s cells into working improperly. It can also decrease a healthy person’s amount of white blood cells, which weakens the immune system and opens the body up for attacks from other illnesses.
Immediate Signs and Symptoms of Benzene Poisoning
Inhaling benzene can cause sudden health problems over the course of just minutes or hours. These signs of benzene poisoning include:
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness and
Consuming benzene can also cause sudden health problems that develop in minutes or hours, which include the following:
- Stomach irritation
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting, which can lead to breathing problems if the benzene-contaminated vomit enters the victim’s lungs
- Convulsions and
Serious Health Problems Due to Long-Term Benzene Exposure
If the victim has been exposed to benzene for one year or more, it can cause bone marrow issues, which leads to loss of red blood cells, excessive bleeding, and compromises to the immune system. Long-term benzene exposure can cause irregular menstrual periods in women and decrease the size of their ovaries. Benzene poisoning can also cause leukemia.
If you have suffered from benzene poisoning, either short or long-term, contact an experienced New York benzene-poisoning attorney with the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000. You may be owed compensation for your illness and it is vital to consult with an attorney to assure the maximum compensation that you are owed.