Diesel exhaust is a complex mixture of different cancer causing substances.
One of the many components of diesel exhaust is benzene, a substance that the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies as a
group 1 carcinogen (a cancer-causing substance).
As discussed in an earlier
blog researchers have already linked benzene to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Another type of cancer caused by benzene is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the lymph
system and disrupts the body’s ability to fight off infections.
There are more than 60 subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but the
most common is Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. Other notable subtypes are
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL),
and Follicular Lymphoma. For a list of the many different subtypes of
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, visit the American Cancer Society’s website
The link between someone developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma due to
previous benzene exposure is not always easily identified. In part this
is due to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma’s ability to remain dormant
in someone’s system for years and, as a result, go undetected. For
study published in September of 2017 concluded that benzene exposure was the
cause of a 45 year old man’s development of Splenic Marginal Zone
Lymphoma, a subtype of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The worker in the
study developed this lymphoma 19 years after leaving a job where he cleaned
instruments with a solvent containing benzene for 6 years. The study concluded
that the high concentration of benzene in the solvent was enough to cause
the man to develop Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma even though he was exposed
to it 19 years before being diagnosed.
There are many crafts that exposed railroad workers to benzene from diesel
exhaust: engineers, conductors, brakemen, track and signal department
workers, and diesel shop and car shop workers. In addition, many different
jobs at the railroad exposed workers to benzene-containing solvents. These
include: electricians, laborers, boilermakers, machinists, and carmen,
as well as other railroad shop workers. If you were exposed to benzene
while working and believe your Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was caused
by occupational exposure
contact us today for a free consultation.