What happens if you are exposed to benzene?

Long-term health effects of exposure to benzene Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.

What is the permissible exposure limit for benzene?

1 ppm
OSHA: The legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 1 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workshift and 5 ppm, not to be exceeded during any 15-minute work period.

What jobs are exposed to benzene?

5 Jobs at the Highest Risk of Benzene Exposure

  1. Chemical Plant Employees. Chemical plants are the most common places you can come in contact with benzene.
  2. Painters. Benzene is found in most paints that you would use in your projects.
  3. Paper Factory Workers.
  4. Oil Refinery Workers.
  5. Mechanics.

What are benzene pathways of exposure?

Main Routes of Exposure: Inhalation. Skin contact. Eye contact. Inhalation: Can irritate the nose and throat.

How poisonous is benzene?

Benzene is very poisonous. Poisoning can cause rapid death. However, deaths have occurred as long as 3 days after the poisoning.

How do you get benzene exposure?

People can be exposed to benzene in the environment from gasoline fumes, automobile exhaust, emissions from some factories, and waste water from certain industries. Benzene is commonly found in air in both urban and rural areas, but the levels are usually very low.

What are the OSHA standards for benzene?

Amendment of existing standard for Occupational Exposure to Benzene. The revised standard reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) from 10 parts benzene per million parts of air (10 ppm) to an eight (8)-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 1 ppm and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 5 ppm.

What is the IDLH limit for benzene?

500 ppm
Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for benzene is 500 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Gerarde 1960]. [Note: NIOSH recommends as part of its carcinogen policy that the “most protective” respirators be worn for benzene at concentrations above 0.1 ppm.

Why Does benzene cause leukemia?

Benzene has been shown to cause chromosome changes in bone marrow cells in the lab. (The bone marrow is where new blood cells are made.) Such changes are commonly found in human leukemia cells.

How does benzene affect the environment?

What effect does benzene have on the environment? In the atmosphere, benzene can react with other chemicals to create smog. This could break down naturally but it might also attach to rain and snow and be carried to the ground to contaminate water and soil.

Can benzene be inhaled?

Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure of humans to benzene may cause drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, as well as eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, and, at high levels, unconsciousness.

How do you get exposed to benzene?

How are people exposed to benzene? People are exposed to benzene primarily by breathing air that contains the chemical. Workers in industries that produce or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of the chemical, although federal and state regulations have reduced these exposures in recent decades.