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Has Your Bladder Cancer Been Caused By Workplace Chemicals?

View profile for Malcolm Underhill
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Research into bladder cancer has shown conclusively that exposure to a group of chemicals called arylamines can be linked directly to the development of the disease. 

Some of these chemicals have been banned from workplaces for over 50 years; however, as it can take decades for bladder cancer to develop, claims for compensation are on the increase.  Similar to asbestos-related cancers, many compensation claims against former employers who exposed workers to arylamines are from employees who left an the organisation many years ago.

Another group of chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have also been shown to increase the risk of bladder cancer and these are still widely used in many industries.

If you have been exposed to one or more of these types of chemicals and have developed bladder cancer, you may be entitled to claim compensation.  This can go towards paying for medical expenses and make up for lost wages if you have to give up work.

Bladder Cancer – The Facts

Bladder cancer is the seventh-most common cancer diagnosed in the UK, with 10,000 new cases being reported every year.  It mainly affects older adults, with more than half of those being diagnosed aged over 75 years.

The causes of bladder cancer seem to be the long-term exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, including tobacco smoke.  This type of cancer is more common in men, because historically, men were more likely to smoke and work in the manufacturing industry, where most of the harmful chemicals linked to bladder cancer occur.

Chemicals Linked to Bladder Cancer

Arylamines chemicals known to cause bladder cancer include:

  • Aniline dyes
  • 2-Naphthylamine
  • 4-Aminobiphenyl
  • Xenylamine
  • Benzidine
  • O-toluidin

People  who worked many years ago in industries such as rubber or plastics manufacturing may have been exposed to some of these carcinogenics.

PAH chemicals can be found in industries  in which workers handle carbon or crude oil, and/or substances made from them.  Working in industries involving combustion, such as smelting, can also involve contact with PAHs. 

Other industries where exposure to chemicals that can increase the risk of bladder cancer include:

  • Bus drivers, taxi drivers and railroad workers
  • Metal casters, machine setters and operators
  • Leather workers
  • Blacksmiths
  • Hairdressers
  • Mechanics
  • Miners
  • Painters

If you are suffering from bladder cancer and have previously worked in one of these industries, it is imperative that you seek medical and legal advice to establish whether exposure to certain chemicals caused your disease.

Proving Your Case

To successfully bring a claim for compensation against your current or former employer, you will need to prove, on the balance of probabilities, the following:

  1. That your employer owed you a duty of care;
  2. Your employer breached that duty by exposing you to harmful chemicals; and
  3. Their breach has caused you to develop bladder cancer

An experienced solicitor can guide you through the claims process and ensure that your case is dealt with in a sensitive manner,  and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you believe your bladder cancer was caused by exposure to chemicals in your workplace and your employer breached their duty of care to you, our experienced personal injury team, led by Malcolm Underhill,  has the expertise and experience to advise and represent you.  We can organise medical examinations and co-ordinate expert witnesses who can prove on the balance of probabilities that the chemical exposure you were subjected to doubled your risk of developing the cancer.

To talk about how we might be able to help, please phone us on 0333 123 9099, email us at  or fill in our contact form.  Any discussions you have with us will be in the strictest of confidence.

The information contained within our Blog Articles is provided as general information only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice or seek to be an exhaustive statement of the law and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. For further details, please see our terms of use policy.