There are many harmful substances and chemicals out there that can cause you harm. You may not even realize that you are being exposed to a harmful chemical. Some are quite prevalent in society. A good example is benzene, which you may encounter every day in Missouri without knowing it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says exposure to benzene leads to issues within your body with your red blood cells. It is a naturally occurring substance, but it is also something that can be man-made. Benzene has a sweet odor to it and is generally colorless or just slightly yellow. At room temperature, it is a liquid that is highly flammable. It also evaporates quickly and tends to pool in low-lying areas.

Benzene prevents your bone marrow from producing enough. This could cause anemia and damage the immune system, which could then lead to a loss of white blood cells. Poisoning may lead to an array of symptoms based on how your exposure occurred.

Exposure may happen by being around sources that give off benzene. It may come from fires, cigarette smoke, gasoline and volcanoes. You will find it in wide use throughout the country, including in some certain industries, such as those that produce dyes, pesticides, lubricants, detergents, rubber and drugs.

You may have exposure at work if you work in certain industries or have frequent exposure to industrial emissions or if you work at a gas station, where levels of benzene in the air are high. It may also contaminate well water. This information is for education and is not legal advice.