The link between exposure to benzene and lymphoma

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on December 31st, 2021

Benzene exposure has a definitive causal relation with leukemia, as numerous medical studies have found over the years. However, since benzene is a carcinogen, it can lead to the development of other malignant diseases, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the germ-fighting network of the body.

By the end of the year, over 81,000 people across the country will receive a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, a form of cancer that, as the name suggests, damages the lymphatic system of the body. The lymphatic system consists of the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma currently accounts for 4% of cancer cases in the U.S. While the disease is a form of lymphoma itself, there are actually over 80 subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which fall into two categories:

  • indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which develop and spread slowly and trigger few symptoms
  • aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which grow fast, spread quickly, and cause severe symptoms

While non-Hodgkin lymphoma is usually a cancer specific to people over the age of 65, in the context of sunscreen tainted with benzene, anyone can develop this cancer if they have been using a contaminated product long enough. Alarmingly, the majority of people who come to struggle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma have their disease found at stage III or IV, which implies a relatively unfavorable prognosis. However, a beacon of hope is that medical researchers are relentlessly working on numerous promising treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which include targeted therapy, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy.

How benzene exposure can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma

A recent study by Lancet Planetary Health shows a significant association between exposure to benzene and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The researchers examined the link by assessing 2,481 previous studies using electronic systematic review and meta-analysis. Over 9,500 patients whose cases had already been analyzed were involved in the new study. What medical researchers found is a causal relation between exposure to benzene and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, particularly diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Furthermore, the study found increased associations between exposure to benzene and follicular lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia. Another noteworthy aspect is that Iemaan Rana, the leading researcher, and her colleagues found a correlation that is dose-dependent, which means that greater exposure to benzene was linked to a higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. What another team of researchers found is the following:

  • 93% of the studies evaluated showed a moderate risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma following benzene exposure
  • 53% of the studies analyzed revealed statistically considerable associations between the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and benzene exposure

Moreover, numerous studies also reported correlations between exposure to benzene and the induction of lymphoma in mice. What is even more interesting, since benzene is similar to the alkylating drugs and radiation that produce leukemia, it is possible that exposure might also result in lymphoma by similar mechanisms. A potential mechanism of induction of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans is immunotoxicity, which refers to the adverse consequences occurring on the functioning of the immune system that stem from exposure to toxic agents.

If you have been applying one of the dangerous sunscreen products on your skin for a significant period of time and now experience symptoms such as weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, swollen abdomen, chest pain, or fatigue, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as a lot of people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma are asymptomatic even when their cancer is in advanced stages. As for people who are already struggling with this terrible disease or with another one caused by benzene exposure from sunscreen, we encourage you to get in touch with our legal team, as you will most likely be eligible for compensation from the negligent manufacturers.

Our experienced lawyers will help you file your benzene sunscreen claim

Since 1990, we have been doing all in our power to provide superior legal assistance to victims of toxic exposure, from veterans and former industrial workers to their surviving family members. Currently, we take on claims from people whose health was affected by the benzene that ended up in the sunscreen of multiple companies. To initiate the legal process, all you have to do is give our legal staff a call, describe your circumstances, answer our questions, and send our experts a series of documents, including your medical records.

We will thoroughly assess your case to determine whether you qualify for filing a benzene sunscreen claim. If you do, we will shortly begin preparing it for submission while you can go on with your life, as your participation will be necessary mostly during the first steps of the legal process. Until resolution, you can focus on your health and treatment, as we are aware that cancer patients often experience unpleasant side effects from their treatment. You will eventually obtain the largest sum of money available for your situation if you decide to work with our law firm.