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Plans to Evaculate Tampa?

Benzene is only one of many cancer causing agents in petroleum. So I read this with interest.  If federal officials burn some of the oil slick in the Gulf and the smoke heads for Tampa, there are apparently plans in place to evacuate parts of Tampa if necessary.  That seems extreme to me.

As FEMA and other government agencies prepare for what is now being called by some, the worst oil spill disaster in history, plans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are in place.

The plans would be announed in the event of a controlled burn of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico, if wind or other conditions are expected to take the toxic fumes through Tampa Bay.

You can read more about this over at the

Read through the comments on that page.  There is clearly some conflicting onformation on this.  But it does make sense that the community woudl be worried about any type of oil slick burn off for particularly this reason…the prevailing winds would probably send some level of toxic smoke over Florida.

Each year statistics regarding the amount of benzene emissions polluting the air, and people’s lungs, are reported by government officials. However, a non-profit watchdog group believes these reported statistics are inaccurate and more benzene is being emitted from refineries and other sources than is being revealed. According to federal officials, benzene emissions increased an estimated nine percent at refineries across the United States between 2007 and 2008.
The non-profit group, Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), thinks refineries across the country may be undereporting their emissions of benzene. In some cases, they believe numbers aren’t being given at all, and in others, they believe refineries are giving inconsistent numbers to regulators. Reports from the EIP state that the reports from 2007-2008 came about even though there was a decline in the demand for products containing petroleum in 2009. This forced some refineries to reduce their production. Due to misleading and confusing reports such as this, the EIP believes reports are being given without any true backing.
The EIP has publicly stated that, "continued uncertainty over the quality and accuracy of reporting makes it difficult to know how much real progress has been made in the effort to decrease benzene emissions. Some companies that report relatively high emissions may actually be doing a more careful job measuring their releases than others. However, there is also evidence that benzene emissions on the whole are being undereported due to outdated and inaccurate emission factors and conflicting reports submitted by industry."

The Effects of Benzene Exposure 
Benzene is a chemical compound that has been found to be highly toxic and can cause various cancers and other health ailments to those exposed over time. It has also been found to cause harm to the environment. Benzene was originally used as an industrial solvent, especially to help degrease metals. However, through the years it’s been used to produce plastics, in the production of gasoline, as an ingredient in cigarettes, and even exists in some soft drinks.

If you are exposed to benzene, you are at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses, such as anemia caused by benzene and acute myleoid leukemia. There has not been a cure found for many of the health conditions caused by this carcinogen, which is why it’s so important to be educated on its effects and aware of how much benzene is being emitted.

According to recent reports, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority is looking into a welcoming a company that would recycle lubricant oil into their county lines. However, the authority’s vice chairman, Frank Amerson, opposes this decision for fear of the environmental and health implications it could have on the community. The company in talks to establish themselves in Macon, Georgia, is Green Renewable Oil, a Massachusetts based company who is partnered with Sequoia Energy & Environment. The plant is in negotiations to be in the Allied Industrial Park in South Macon and would focus on removing toxins, such as benzene, from motor oil.

Amerson’s concerns not only stem from the fact that benzene is a known carcinogen that could be emitted throughout the community, but also because the company has failed to answer questions regarding how they are going to be handling the benzene to prevent exposure. He also states that a Nevada re-refinery that uses the same technology as Green Renewable Oil and Sequoia plan to use, have been under much scrutiny recently due to environmental violations.

Meeting Hoped to Expose Truth Cancelled

Amerson had reportedly planning to bring the facts to the table at a meeting with the industrial authority’s Properties Committee later this week. But the meeting was cancelled after Green Renewable Oil representatives backed out. Due to the cancellation Amerson met with the vice chairman of the economic development commission to voice his concerns publicly.

About a dozen similar refineries exist across the state of Georgia and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Web site claims these refineries emit chemicals that can contribute to the ozone and climate change. These chemicals, such as benzene, are also linked to various forms of cancer, lung problems, and other health conditions. As of now the talks of the refineries existence in Macon seem to be moving forward, though Amerson and other environmental officials hope to put a halt on this reestablishment for the good of the environment and the people.

A former police auto mechanic who was recently diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia filed a workers compensation claim against his former employer in West Virginia. The claim states that it was due to his benzene exposure while employed with the West Virginia State Police that he is now suffering from this fatal form of cancer. Unfortunately, the man passed away while his case was on appeal after it was originally denied.
It was following his death that the Supreme Court of Appeals came to a conclusion that there was in fact a link between his exposure to benzene on the job and the development of leukemia. Leukemia is one of the many illnesses that is associated with benzene exposure. Through the medical literature and witness testimony the plaintiff has prepared prior to his death, it was found that there was no other cause for his leukemia, than the benzene he worked with and around while employed as a mechanic. 
Employer Fights Back
The employer fought back against the workplace exposure claims brought against them claiming that the evidence provided was not accurate or medically significant. However, the court rejected these arguments and sided with the deceased mechanic.
According to West Virginia laws, a worker is able to show a link between an occupational disease and their employment under two conditions: 1) They have significant studies and research that clearly show how the disease is associated with a workplace hazard, and 2) If they can show that they were exposed to a hazard and as a result are now suffering from a disease connected to this hazard.
The mechanic was able to prove both and as a result his claims proved successful and those he left behind will be compensated on his behalf.

You may know what benzene is and that it’s linked to various types of leukemia and other fatal illnesses. But what does it mean to get benzene poisoning? Benzene poisoning typically happens when benzene is inhaled. Your skin can also be exposed to benzene, but the chemical doesn’t easily absorb into the skin.

When you inhale benzene it targets the blood-forming tissues of the body. Benzene is so powerful that it is able to effectively damage the bone marrow where the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets form in the body.  Since these three components are essential in the makeup of the blood, a shortage of them can result in several blood disorders and diseases.

Diseases Caused by Benzene Poisoning

Research has shown that benzene poisoning can cause anemia, leucopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Though, among all the diseases caused by benzene poisoning, leukemia is among the most serious. Exposure to benzene can causeacute leukemia, which develops rapidly, as well as chronic leukemia, which progresses at a slower pace.

Acute benzene poisoning is what someone experiences when they are exposed to a high level of benzene during a short period of time. This type of exposure is most common in enclosed spaces like a tank or vessel that is coated with benzene residues. Acute benzene poisoning can also happen from spills or equipment failure. Acute poisoning can negatively affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and incoherent speech. In more severe case acute benzene poisoning can be fatal.

Chronic benzene poisoning occurs when someone experience exposure to low levels of benzene over a long duration of time. If someone is treated for acute exposure and survives, he or she is at risk of developing chronic, lasting affects associated with their exposure to the toxic chemical. Some common symptoms of chronic benzene poisoning are tiredness, weight loss, and headaches.

Benzene is an organic compound that comes in liquid form and is often colorless. It is widely known as being one of the main compounds in gasoline, but it is also used in the production of some plastics and soft drinks. Benzene in cigarettes and drugs has also been discovered by researchers. Research in recent years has linked exposure to benzene with some forms of cancers and other health complications. It has also been publicized as being a toxic carcinogen. Some illnesses associated with benzene exposure are:  

One of the worst parts about being exposed to benzene? You can be exposed to benzene without even knowing it. Each day people are exposed to this carcinogen at work, their home, and at schools around the world without even knowing it. But if you do develop one of these illness or discover you have been the victim of benzene exposure you can take legal action. There are just a couple of things to consider before contacting your benzene attorney.  

Be Prepared Before Filing Your Suit 

Before you contact an attorney consider where you may have been exposed. You may have the right to sue the manufacturers or distributors of products containing benzene due to the negative health affects they’ve had on you or a loved one. You may also find that you’ve been exposed at your place (or former place) of employment or a school you attended. In this case, you may have a case regarding benzene workplace safety or negligence. In any case, it’s important to know who the likely parties are to sue for your illness in order to add value to your lawsuit.  

Having your case go to the right court is also key in receiving a settlement in a benzene lawsuit. Some home courts have more favorable rules and a local jury which may be more sympathetic to your situation. It is also important to know and understand the statute of limitations. This is a time limit that all claims have and if you don’t file your case within a certain period of time, you will lose your right to recovery. These time periods vary depending on the state you file in and the type of case you have. Since there are many small components that go into filing a successful case it’s important to also hire a benzene attorney who specializes in benzene cases and can lend you the proper support and details you will need.  

The Channing family of Wisconsin claims they refuse to drink the water at their home. They may cook with it and bathe in it but they refuse to drink what they claim to be water infested with benzene.

According to Joe and Kathy Channing, they recently learned that leaking tanks at an old gas station near their house has been polluting their water. However, they were later informed that the problem was being taken care of and the state was going to close the case.

They say they were puzzled as to why no one had never told them about the water which was contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen. This way especially confusing and alarming since the gas station has been close for more than ten years, which means their water may have been polluted this entire time.  
“We have so many questions,” Kathy has told reporters. “But the part that gets me is if they would have told us, we would have had the opportunity to move.” 
Water Causes Concern Regarding Benzene Exposure

The Channings reportedly moved to their home in 1983 and are now concerned about their long-term health considering for a majority of this time they may have been unknowingly exposed to benzene. Benzene is a carcinogen that is contained in gasoline and has been known to cause fatal illnesses like acute myeloid leukemia and other rare blood disorders. The substance is most harmful when ingested or inhaled over a long period of time.

They are also hesitant to trust state officials who are now claiming the case is “taken care of”considering they hid the problem from the family for so long. The family says they recently received a letter regarding the groundwater contamination that made its way to their property.

The letter reportedly said that the polluted groundwater was receding and would continue to dissolve over time. Though for Kathy, the letter seemed to be missing some pieces and believes that given the history of the gas station, and the governments secrecy regarding the issue, the DNR can’t know for certain whether or not the contamination is dissipating. The Channings are now looking into hiring a benzene attorney, who specializes in benzene-related cases, to help them investigate and receive compensation for the state’s negligence.

A federal jury recently awarded more than $100 million in a benzene lawsuit to ten former BP workers who were supposedly exposed to benzene and other toxic chemicals while employed with BP in Texas City. The workers worked at the Texas oil refinery and the award was received after the history of the refinery and its benzene issues were exposed in court.

According to reports, the benzene case was the first of an estimated 100 toxic chemical lawsuits that have been filed against BP. These lawsuits have reportedly involved 143 BP workers and residents who live near the Texas oil refinery. All of the plaintiffs there was a release of gases from the oil refinery; however, BP refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Benzene is a known carcinogen that can lead to the development of leukemia and other fatal illnesses in the case of prolonged exposure.

Benzene Exposure Sparks Lawsuit

The benzene lawsuit says that the toxic release from the refinery exposed the community and environment to benzene and other harmful chemicals like aluminum silica. As a result of the release many workers and residents claim the quality of the air noticeably changed and caused many personal injuries.

BP officials have maintained throughout the extent of the lawsuit that there was no release of benzene or any other toxic fumes in Texas City. They claimed in court that foul smell of chemicals may have blown in from another refinery in the nearby area. However, plaintiffs fought back against the corporation stating that the company failed to identify and take responsibility for about 70% of the toxic releases that occurred from the Texas City refinery.

Reports state that $10 million was awarded to the 10 plaintiffs in punitive damages and in addition the Galveston jury awarded $326,000 in compensatory damages for the personal injuries endured by the plaintiffs. The individual damage awards that went to each of the workers reportedly ranged depending on the extent of their injuries between $5,918 to $244,386. Attorneys that specialize in benzene cases reportedly represented many of the clients.


Recent natural gas drilling in North Texas has fueled concerns regarding benzene exposure. The community fears that the water and air are being polluted with benzene, which is a known carcinogen.  

Recent air tests within the surrounding areas where the drilling is being conducted showed high concentrations of benzene and other chemicals. The toxins were found both around the drilling site itself as well as in the surrounding communities.

More Tests for Benzene Requested

According to reports, cities, counties, and the state’s environmental agencies are now waiting for the follow-up testing they’ve requested to be done. They also are hoping that further action will be taken to ensure the communities and the environment is protected from benzene exposure.

The study that already took place is reportedly scheduled to be released later this month. During the study, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is said to have monitored more than 60 different areas throughout Tarrant, Denton, Parker, Johnson and Wise counties. This was done to help gather essential data, which the agency’s toxicology division is now analyzing. The results from tests conducted in November are supposedly going to be released to the public in February.

Although there’s no telling at this point what the state studies will find, individual tests have many worried and fearful for their health and the health of their children. The communities concerns even provoked TCEQ officials to meet with operators in the Barnett Shale to ask them to voluntarily reduce the amount of benzene being released.

Michael Honeycutt, who works as the toxicology director for TCEQ, says the level of benzene exposure at one site is comparable to “breathing constant gasoline fumes”. This type of exposure to a chemical like benzene has been known to cause cancers such as leukemia to those exposed over a long period of time. Long-term exposure to benzene in the air can cause leukemia.

A benzene lawsuit was recently filed against Chevron USA by the widow of a man who passed away due to benzene exposure. The wife claims that it was because of her husband’s former employer that he was diagnosed with a benzene related illness and his life was taken too soon. The man was reportedly employed by Chevron USA for many years and it was during his time as a refinery worker that he was exposed to the toxic chemical. 
Wife Seeks Benzene Attorney and Justice 
Louise Parker reportedly researched the cancerous chemical known as benzene and linked it to her husband’s death in 2008. Following his premature death she sought the legal help of a benzene attorney who specializes in benzene-related cases to seek justice for her late husband.
According to the lawsuit, Ray Parke was employed by Gulf Oil, which is now Chevron, and worked in their refinery for many years. During his career with the global company he was reportedly exposed to benzene, which has been known to cause leukemia and other rare blood disorders. Parker eventually developed multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic and his life was taken in December of 2008.

Parker’s wife claims that for decades Chevron was aware of the hazardous risks associated with benzene products but failed to inform their workers or give them any form of protection. Instead, they continued to exposure their unknowing employees to the toxic chemicals for years.

The benzene lawsuit also states that Chevron failed to take the necessary precautions regarding engineering, safety, and industrial hygiene to be sure that Parker was not exposed to benzene.

With the help of her benzene attorney, Parker is suing Chevron for exemplary damages.