Many individuals have developed rare forms of cancer as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals. Such exposure usually occurs to people in their occupation. Two good examples are exposure to asbestos and benzene.

Benzene and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Medical studies have shown a clear link between Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and exposure to Benzene. Many occupations carry a high risk of exposure to chemicals containing benzene which is commonly found in hydrocarbons, cleaning solvents, and paints. In most cases, there is a latency, or gap of ten years or more from the first exposure to the benzene until the onset of the disease itself. Usually, a person will have a history of frequent and close contact to the benzene containing products for years before symptoms first appear. The gap between exposure and the onset of the disease is confusing to most people. This is because benzene attacks the blood forming in the body. Benzene will collect in the bone marrow for years before it triggers the onset of blood disorders which ultimately develop into leukemia.

Paint and Paint Thinner and Benzene Exposure

The same holds true for those who are exposed to paint, paint thinners and associated products that contain benzene. Again, rarely do these products list benzene as an ingredient. However, they exist as a contaminant with other hydrocarbon based chemicals such as toluene, hexane, xylene, and mineral spirits. Most of these products are sold at paint stores by name over the counter. Those who spend a lot of time stripping paint with paint thinners run an especially high risk. This includes those who paint and stain wood as a hobby.

Rubber Industry and Tire Manufacturing

Historically, those employed in the rubber industries have been exposed to dangerous levels of benzene through their years of employment as naptha containing benzene is the chemicals used to bind rubber together in the tire building process. The confinement of tire manufacturing plant can effect not just those building the tires, but anyone working inside the building itself. Those who work near others who directly use benzene containing products share a significant risk as well.

Oil Field and Petroleum Industry

The petroleum industry has always been a source of benzene exposure. Exposure is not limited to those who work at refineries but includes people who have jobs in the maintenance and repair of said facilities. It often includes those who transport hydrocarbons and related chemicals from the processing plants. Truck drivers in the oil and gas industry are exposed to harmful levels of benzene because of the constant exposure to the harmful fumes and emissions of hydrocarbons and chemicals.

Auto Mechanics and Benzene Exposure

An auto mechanic runs a much higher risk of leukemia than most because many of the products used in the automotive repair industry contain harmful levels benzene. Benzene often exists as a contaminant in degreasers and engine cleaning products.  Some mechanics use these products for several hours every day. They are used in close proximity by a person who holds the product at an arm’s length when applying the product. To make matters worse, the product often used in a garage with poor ventilation causing the benzene to linger in a heavy concentration in the air of a work area.   Benzene exists as a contaminant with other hydrocarbons such as toluene, hexane, xylene, and mineral spirits. It important to understand that long-term exposure in close proximity to such products is very dangerous even when benzene exists only in trace amounts in these products. As a result, many who are diagnosed with leukemia never make the connection that the leukemia was caused by benzene in products they used years ago at work.

Hands of car mechanic in auto repair service with wrench


Kirk Claunch understands the complexities involved in cases involving benzene and acute myelogenous leukemia. Kirk Claunch has been board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2002 and has extensive experience in helping people suffering with acute myelogenous leukemia by getting to the root causes of their disease by defining a person’s exposure and work history. Kirk Claunch has represented clients across in the country in benzene related cases in many different states. Few attorneys have the experience to help those who suffer from acute myelogenous leukemia caused by exposure to benzene to understand the complexities involved in exposure and the causation of leukemia.

Regardless of your location, he will be happy to discuss your case with you to help you better understand your situation. Contact him to discuss you case. He would be pleased to help you in such an important and difficult matter.


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Preparing a case for trial can be expensive.   One of the main reasons is the increasing demand for proof from experts. This can include doctors, experts on accident reconstruction and liability, industrial hygienists, toxicologists, engineers, and accountants.

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