• The Truth About Benzene
  • November 1, 2010
  • Law Firm: Ramji Associates - Houston Office
  • On April 6th, BP’s Texas City refinery released a “catastrophic” amount of benzene into the atmosphere-17,000 lbs, to be exact-an emission that lasted for 41 days between April 6, 2010 and May 16, 2010. This prompted a class action lawsuit to be filed on behalf of the citizens of Texas City and surrounding areas and launched an investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

    Benzene, a hazardous substance, can be found in everyday household items including cleaning solutions and nail polish, gasoline and cigarettes. Exposure to this chemical can result in:

    ·             Drowsiness

    ·             Dizziness

    ·             Rapid Heart Rate

    ·             Headaches

    ·             Confusion

    ·             Unconsciousness

    ·             Fatigue

    ·             Digestive Problems

    The difference between exposure in the aforementioned items is that they are released in much smaller quantities-not by the gallon. Long-term effects can include anemia, leukemia, and even death.

    The EPA will determine BP’s promptness following the benzene leak and if it resulted in possible or actual harm. According to the EPA press release, “BP is held accountable to prevent incidents like these from happening in the future.”