Benzene is a colourless or a light yellow chemical with a sweet odour that is highly flammable. It is formed from both natural processes and also as a result of human activities. Benzene is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke. It is used to produce other chemicals to make lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, pesticides, plastics, resins, nylon and other synthetic fibres.

Whilst it has many uses, it is a poisonous chemical if ingested or inhaled. Individuals who inhale or ingest high levels of benzene may go on to develop the following symptoms:

  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • irritation of the stomach
  • headaches
  • tremors
  • unconsciousness
  • vomiting

Impact on long-term health

Unfortunately, exposure to benzene for a longer period of time can result in long-term health issues such as damage to the bone marrow and a decrease in red blood cells, which can lead to anaemia, excessive bleeding and affect the immune system resulting in an increase in infections. In some instances high levels of exposure may result in death.

Benzene can also cause cancers in the blood-forming organs and leukaemia.

Duty of care

Employers have a duty to prevent, or where this is not possible, to control the level of exposure to benzene that employees face. Following risk assessments employers are required to implement and maintain effective control measures.

Contact us

If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of benzene poisoning and consider this to be the fault of another please contact us to discuss the potential of bringing a benzene poisoning compensation claim.

You can call our Personal Injury (PI) and Industrial Disease lawyers on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat. Alternatively, you can complete the request a call back form and we will call you.