Industry documents show effort to hide health impacts of benzene

  • Susan Phillips

A new report out today by the Center for Public Integrity details how workers exposed to the cancer causing chemical benzene, get little support from their employers. CPI gained access to documents from court cases across the country, which show how companies try to debunk the science linking benzene to cancer. More from CPI:

Taken together, the documents — put in context by interviews with dozens of lawyers, scientists, academics, regulators and industry representatives — depict a “research strategy” built on dubious motives, close corporate oversight and painstaking public relations. They comprise an industry playbook to counteract growing evidence of benzene’s toxic effects, which continue to command the attention of federal and state regulators and be fiercely debated in court.

Several occupations come with an exposure risk of benzene, including steel workers, refinery workers and gas station attendants.  A recently published peer-reviewed study in the journal Environmental Health found high levels of benzene near some natural gas production sites.

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