The chemical Styrene has recently been delegated as a carcinogen, which in turn could lead to more workers' compensation cases for those who have been exposed to this substance. Styrene has recently been ruled as an ingredient in certain industrial processes to cause elevated risks of cancer and other diseases. This finding, which has been upheld by a judge, could bring the possibility of Styrene-related workers' compensation cases.
Illinois employees may use this harmful substance in the making of certain plastics, rubber and resins. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration *(OSHA) estimates that just under 100,000 workers may be exposed to Styrene every year. Now that this chemical has been found to be so dangerous to workers, those who have become sick after being exposed to it may have grounds for financial compensation.
Plastics that contain this component are not harmful to users; since the substance is dangerous only during the fabrication process. Illinois workers that are employed in facilities that have no Styrene leak protection or proper venting could be in danger of becoming ill from exposure. Employees may have contracted cancer from this carcinogen and not realize that their sickness was directly caused by their work environment.
Now that Styrene is being recognized as a cancer-causing substance, workers may consider workers' compensation suits if they have become ill while working in the plastics industry. While financial compensation may not cure an illness, it can lift the burden of medical expenses and could alleviate some of the residual pain and suffering. Styrene is now legally recognized as a potential serious danger and may have already made many workers sick.
Source: Bloomberg BNA, "Styrene Can Be Listed as Carcinogen On Government Report, Federal Judge Rules," Robert Iafolla, May 20, 2013