Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
A fast growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow, acute myelogenous leukemia affects the development of white blood cells that normally fight off infection. Because they do not develop normally, the unformed cells – called blasts – are unable to fight infection, compromising the body’s immune response, which can lead to frequent infections and fever. AML may also affect the production of red blood cells and platelets.
As the abnormal leukemia cells crowd out the normal ones, the jobs healthy cells complete are compromised: red blood cells fail to carry oxygen needed throughout the body and platelets fail to control bleeding.
More than 10,000 cases of acute myelogenous leukemia are diagnosed in the US each year, making it a relatively rare cancer. It is an aggressive cancer, and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated. Treatments may include chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, and/or cord blood transplant.
Studies examining leukemia diagnosis in workers exposed to benzene find higher rates of AML, including those who worked in the oil refining, chemical and shoemaking industries. Additional studies link chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma to benzene exposure, but the connection is not as strong.
Injuries Caused by Benzene: Cancer, Anemia
Benzene evaporates quickly, is highly flammable and is dangerous to people if ingested. Breathingbenzene causes drowsiness and dizziness, and can result in unconsciousness. Given high enough concentrations, even short term breathing in of benzene can have serious consequences, including death. Ingesting benzene through food or drink laced with high levels of the chemical compound can cause stomachache, vomiting, sleepiness, convulsions and death.
Long-term exposure to benzene negatively affects the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells resulting in anemia, excessive bleeding, and decreased immune response. Benzene is also a known carcinogen and its effects on the bone marrow can result in leukemia, specifically acute myelogenous leukemia or AML.
Toxic exposure to benzene can have devastating consequences on both the victim and their family. If you or a loved one have been affected by benzene poisoning, please contact one of our toxic tort attorneys today. Our benzene lawyers have helped many people negligently exposed and harmed by these toxic fumes.