Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a blood cancer that is associated with workplace exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, such as benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and Roundup (glyphosate). Every year, approximately 70,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with this cancer, and many cases are caused by carcinogens.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by cancer caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Tort Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects lymphocytes (white blood cells), which are an important part of the immune system. Because lymphocytes circulate throughout most of the body, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur nearly anywhere in the body. However, it usually develops in the lymph nodes, which are masses of tissue that store lymphocytes and eliminate harmful bacteria from the body.
In 2013, experts estimated that about 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and 20,000 deaths will be caused by this disease. It is unknown what percentage of cases are associated with workplace exposure to chemicals.
- What causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
- What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
- How is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treated?
Subtypes of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Large Diffuse B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)
- Follicullar Lymphoma
- Cutaneous T-Cell
- Anapalastic T-cell
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Primary Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma
Roundup and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
The weed-killer Roundup (glyphosate) was patented by Monsanto in 1974. Its popularity boomed in the mid-1990s when Monsanto genetically-engineered “Roundup Ready” crops, which allowed farmers to spray glyphosate over entire fields. Today, Roundup is sprayed on nearly every acre of corn, cotton, and soybeans grown in the United States.
In March 2015, the cancer-research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Roundup a “probable human carcinogen.” The evidence includes convincing studies that Roundup causes cancer in rats and mice. In humans, studies have found that Roundup damages DNA.
Since 2001, three large studies have linked Roundup exposure with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These studies include:
- International Journal of Cancer published a study in October 2008 by Swedish researchers who found a doubled increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among men who were exposed to Roundup.
- Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a study in September 2003 that found a 60% increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among farmworkers in the midwestern United States.
- Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers published a study by Canadian researchers in November 2011 that found a dose-response relationship between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Breast Implants and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Breast implants are associated with ALK-negative Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), which is one of the rarest but most aggressive types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The FDA started investigating the risk in 2011.
As of February 2017, the FDA has confirmed 350 reports of ALCL, including 9 deaths, in women with breast implants. Textured implants have the highest risk of causing ALCL. Recent studies suggest it is because bacterial coatings (biofilm) on textured implants is more likely to trigger chronic inflammation or low-level infections.
PCBs and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
There is strong evidence that workplace exposure to Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned that PBCs are “probable human carcinogens” because many studies have found higher rates of cancer in people exposed to this chemical. Furthermore, “there is clear evidence that PCBs cause cancer in animals.”
The EPA has also specifically warned about the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
“Since PCBs suppress the immune system and immune system suppression has been demonstrated as a risk factor for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, suppression of the immune system is a possible mechanism for PCB-induced cancer.”
What are PCBs?
PCBs are an industrial chemical created by Monsanto in the early 1930s. They were used to manufacture many products for about 40 years, until 1979, when the EPA banned PCBs. Despite the ban, today nearly every person in the United States has some level of PCBs in their body. The problem is that these chemicals take decades to degrade in the environment, they pass through a mother’s breast-milk to her infant, and they are found in common animal products like fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and meat.
Products manufactured before 1979 may contain high levels of PCBs:
- Transformers and capacitors
- Electrical equipment
- Oil-based paint
- Oil used in motors and hydraulic equipment
- Cable insulation
- Thermal insulation (fiberglass, felt, foam, cork)
- Adhesives and tapes
- Carbonless copy paper
- Floor finishes
- Fluorescent light ballasts
Benzene and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Benzene, a highly-flammable chemical ingredient in gasoline and other products, is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The American Association of Cancer Research published a study in 2007 that analyzed existing research on benzene and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and found:
- Out of 43 studies of causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 93% found that workplace exposure to benzene was associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- 53% of the 43 studies found significantly higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma associated with benzene.
- Out of 26 studies of petroleum refinery workers, 23 studies (88%) found that the risk of death from lymphoma was higher than for all other cancers.
According to the National Cancer Institute, sources of workplace exposure to benzene include:
- Rubber industry
- Oil refineries
- Chemical plants
- Shoe manufacturers
- Gasoline industries
- Lubricant manufacturing
- Steel workers
- Lab technicians
- Cigarettes smoking and second-hand smoke
Do I have a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by exposure to toxic chemicals, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Tort Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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