Benzene and Asbestos are both Carcinogens, but Affect the Body Differently
Asbestos and benzene are physically different, but they are still carcinogenic substances. Asbestos is a group of silicate minerals that have microscopic fibers. When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers are released into the air leading to people inhaling or ingesting them. Benzene on the other hand is a colorless sweet-smelling liquid that evaporates quickly if exposed to air. People can inhale it when it is in the form of a gas but if it is in contaminated food, people can ingest it. When inhaled, benzene goes through the lining of the lungs into the bloodstream and when ingested, it can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal tract.
Once asbestos becomes lodged in people’s lungs, it is such a strong material that the body cannot break it down or remove it. This leads to the asbestos staying in the body for many years. Asbestos is also dose dependent, meaning the more asbestos someone is exposed to over time, the more likely the person will develop and be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos causes scarring and inflammation wherever it ends up, damaging cellular DNA. This turns the cells into cancer cells, which then grow uncontrollably.
Benzene enters the body in similar ways to asbestos, but it causes different cancers. Once benzene evaporates into the air, it can be inhaled into the lungs and go to the bloodstream. It is then stored in bone marrow and fat and is converted to metabolites in the liver and bone marrow. Many of the metabolites leave the body via urine after 48 hours, but some can stay behind. Exposure over a long period of time leads to a blood forming cancer called acute myeloid leukemia and cancer of the plasma called multiple myeloma. People can also have issues like a reduction in red blood cells, which is a condition called anemia. The immune system is also affected, which can prevent the body from fighting off cancer.
Asbestos and benzene are both carcinogens and if you were exposed to either and now have cancer, you could be entitled to compensation. It doesn’t matter how they cause cancer, it just matters that you were exposed and are now struggling with a disease like mesothelioma, acute myeloid leukemia, or multiple myeloma. Many workers exposed to these substances did not know they were endangering their lives when going to work every day.
If you were exposed t asbestos or benzene and now have mesothelioma, lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, or multiple myeloma, contact us today to see if you could be entitled to compensation. Call 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and one of our staff members will get back to you as soon as possible. You didn’t deserve to get cancer, but now that you do, you deserve compensation.