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Benzene Exposure Information > Workers at Risk > Printing Industry Workers

Printing Industry Workers

Historically, ink solvents and thinners used in the printing industry contained very high levels of benzene. Ink solutions often contain benzene because, since the chemical is a solvent, it helps keep ink from drying out too quickly. Unfortunately, when the ink is used, benzene vapors can evaporate from the ink, exposing those working nearby to the toxic fumes.

Benzene-containing solvents have also been used for cleaning type and printing machines. The solvent would be applied to a rag and used to wipe equipment clean, allowing the benzene fumes to evaporate rapidly from the rag and from the surface of the equipment. Evaporation occurs even more quickly when benzene-containing solvents are used on equipment that is still warm.

Because of the high level of benzene use, many working in the printing industry, such as press operators and maintenance workers, have an increased risk of developing benzene-related diseases. In 1938, a study of 300 workers in the printing industry showed a high level of benzene-related blood disease. Scientists have found that workers in the printing industry have an elevated risk of developing certain benzene-related cancers.

If you or a loved one worked in the printing industry and have been diagnosed with a benzene-related disease, please contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights.

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