Benzene is a flammable, sweet-smelling chemical that is present in gasoline, parts washers, solvents such as cleaning agents and degreasers, and automotive paints. These are all products to which auto mechanics in Illinois and elsewhere are exposed every day. Furthermore, benzene is a known carcinogen and the cause of excessive medical expenses for many workers who are suffering the consequences of exposure to this dangerous chemical.
An auto mechanic who has been exposed to benzene since 1982 and developed cancer as a result recently filed a lawsuit. He named ExxonMobil, Rust-Oleum, BP, Shell and 10 other companies as defendants. The plaintiff claims he now suffers from multiple myeloma -- a cancer of the blood that originates in bone marrow. Cancerous white blood cells form in the bones after the accumulation of benzene that is absorbed by inhalation or through skin absorption.