john tomlinson Workplace benzene exposure linked to cancerThe American Society of Safety Engineers gathered in Denver for its annual conference in June, and Canadian Occupational Safety magazine reports that workplace exposure to cancer-causing agents was a key theme for the conference. Connie Muncy, senior health and safety administrator at AES Corporation, explained to the group that workplace cancers are the leading cause of occupational death. The International Labour Organization reports that globally one person dies every 52 seconds because of workplace exposures to cancer-causing agents that were predictable and preventable.

Benzene is a cancer-causing culprit workers are frequently exposed to because it is a chemical widely used in many industries and products. Beasley Allen has previously explained that benzene exposure has been linked to the development of certain, rare cancers including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and aplastic anemia. Certain occupations are at a higher risk of on-the-job benzene exposure including railroad workers, automobile mechanics and petroleum refining and extraction workers.

In June, Persistence Market Research released preliminary findings of a study that will be available in August. The research predicts AML will increase at a faster rate in years to come because of the rise in exposure to benzene. In the coming weeks, we will discuss how this catastrophic trend continues to linger in the country’s industrial sector; how juries are beginning to accept the scientific link between benzene exposure and the development of rare cancers; and the multi-million dollar efforts by the petrochemical industry to cover up the truth about benzene-related cancers.

The workers who develop these cancers dedicated their careers to companies that refused to protect them, despite decades-old evidence of the dangers. Regardless of conditions and danger, they worked to get the job done only to find out years later their jobs had levied an unnecessary death sentence upon them. Because it takes years for these cancers’ symptoms to manifest, the once faithful workers are normally abandoned by their former employers. They are left holding the bag for what remains of their bleak future – facing few effective treatment options, coupled by the out-of-pocket costs for their own care.

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If you would like more information about benzene exposure and benzene-related cancers such as Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), you can contact John Tomlinson, a lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section. He can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email You can also find more information at

Occupational Safety
Beasley Allen
Persistence Market Research
American Cancer Society

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