A former employee of a subcontractor at Brookhaven National Laboratory has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the lab manager and the manufacturers of a cleaning solvent he claims caused his cancer.
Joseph Marino, who worked as a computer technician at the Upton, New York lab in 1999 and 2000, has been diagnosed with clear cell renal carcinoma.
Marino, 61, said the cleaning fluids he was required to use at the facility contained trichloroethylene (TCE), a suspected carcinogen, and that he was never warned of a potential risk.
TCE is a volatile organic compound linked to cancers of the kidney, liver, cervix and lymphatic system. When inhaled, the substance can cause dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, facial numbness and weakness.
TCE has been banned in much of the world since the 1970s – but not the U.S. However, some U.S. manufacturers have discontinued using it in recent years due to concerns about its effects on human health.
Marino's lawsuit names lab manager Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages the lab under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy; former manager Associated Universities and TCE manufacturers Dow Chemical and Zep Inc.