One other ‘Subsequent Asbestos’: Insurance coverage Protection Concerns for Benzene Legal responsibility

Mould, silica, microplastics, nanotubes, and a myriad of chemical compounds are just a few examples of what tort legal professionals have recognized because the “subsequent asbestos” over the previous a number of a long time. This phrase is now generally used to determine the general public well being threats ensuing from publicity and the consequential damages and liabilities going through companies of all styles and sizes. Any legal responsibility approaching that of asbestos has equally vital insurance coverage protection ramifications. Benzene often is the latest “subsequent asbestos.”

This summer time, Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall of quite a few aerosol sunscreen merchandise after testing recognized low ranges of benzene. See Johnson & Johnson Shopper Inc. Points Voluntary Recall of Particular NEUTROGENA and AVEENO Aerosol Sunscreen Merchandise Because of the Presence of Benzene (July 14, 2021). The voluntary recall got here months after an unbiased laboratory discovered benzene in 78 sunscreen and after-sun care merchandise. See Valisure Detects Benzene in Sunscreen, Valisure (Might 25, 2021). Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid and is classed as a human carcinogen. The toxicity of benzene in people has been established for over 120 years, with research from 1939 stating that “publicity over a protracted time period to any focus of benzene higher than zero just isn’t secure.” Id. Whereas rapid signs of publicity to benzene could trigger drowsiness, dizziness, or a speedy or irregular heartbeat; long-term publicity to benzene can lead to a lower in pink blood cells, resulting in anemia, fertility points, and irregular menstrual durations. See Details About Benzene, CDC. Current research present that prime ranges of benzene could contribute to the event of sure cancers resembling leukemia. Id.

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