Benzene Cancer Risk — Living or Working Near a Benzene Emitter May Increase Your Benzene Cancer Risk

Benzene cancer risk may be greater for Ohio residents who live or work near manufacturers and refineries that emit benzene into the air.  Benzene, a chemical that is found in many products, including crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke, may result in an increased risk of cancer.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta have revealed concerns about benzene cancer risk. The study found that, in Ohio, more than thirty businesses were emitting benzene into the air as part of their manufacturing or refining processes.  According to the research, Ohio residents facing the highest benzene cancer risk are those who live or work in Allen, Defiance, Hamilton, Trumbull and Warren Counties.  Each of these counties has at least one business that releases more that 10,000 pounds of benzene into the air.

The study stresses that, while additional research is required, researchers suspect benzene may contribute to cause cancers, including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affects the immune and lymphatic systems and can be fatal.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause many different signs and symptoms, depending on the type of lymphoma and where it is in the body. Sometimes it might not cause any symptoms until it grows quite large. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Sweating and chills
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Swollen abdomen (belly)
  • Feeling full after only a small amount of food
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or cough

Others cancers that may be caused by benzene include:

  • Acute myeloid leukemina (AML)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Chronic  myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

The researches found that the cancer risk decreases for people who live and work further away from manufacturers and refiners that emit benzene into the air.  The risk deceases by approximately one percent for every three miles an Ohio resident is separated from a manufacturer or refinery.

Please contact us if you or a loved one has been exposed to benzene and has been diagnosed with cancer.