Nevada Supreme Court Rules Benzene Exposure Caused Firefighter's Breast Cancer
Robin Lawson was just doing her job as a firefighter in Las Vegas when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Firefighters use benzene as well as polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in their work saving people and property. Lawson's oncologist Dr. Noel Rowan feels that exposure to benzene in the line of work caused her cancer, and said that she should be given by Worker's Compensation, "Sin City."
Lawson started work as a firefighter in 1992, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 and received treatment for at least eight months. Her cancer recurred in 2004 and she was treated with a double trained Dr. Rowan gave his professional opinion that benzene exposure caused her cancer and therefore qualified her for Workman's Comp, a benefit for which she applied in 2004. Las Vegas city government did not withhold health insurance benefits from Lawson, I know her treatments were paid for and her time away from work was covered ... But the city's legal advisers denied her claim to further payment in the form of Workmen's Comp Her case went before the Nevada Supreme Court and they ruled in her favor, giving as their decision that Lawson's cancer was work-related.
Benzene is known to be carcinogenic, but studies linking breast cancer and benzene are few and results are not conclusive. Scientists have not done formal research targeting breast cancer and benzene link. The American Cancer Society reports that benzene is a known carcinogen and may cause fluid forms of cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as bone marrow disorders like myelodysplacia It certainly isn't a chemical that you'd want to consume or inhale, because it is a solvent used in various industries such as shoe manufacture, oil refining, commercial printing, and the rubber industry. But you have more risk of benzene exposure from a more everyday source: cigarette smoke and secondhand tobacco smoke. In America, smoking accounts for almost half of all benzene exposure nationwide.
Now that you know that, don't lawyer up and head to court to file a worker's comp claim if you were diagnosed with breast cancer while working a particular job. Robin Lawson's case for Workman's Compensation may not set a precedent If it did, then everybody who has ever worked with a coworker who smoked could have just as good at homes. Perhaps Lawson was exposed to benzene-either through firefighting chemicals or through exposure to tobacco smoke. We may never know what caused her breast cancer, just as we may never know what causes the 90% of all cases of breast cancer that are not related to the genetic mutation BRCA. It seems to me that the Nevada Supreme Court-who are not oncology scientists can't declare the causes of breast cancer based on one person's claim .so this case won't guarantee worker's comp payments to other men or women who are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals on the job. Like many other things that go on in Las Vegas, this case will be one of those things that happens here, stays here. "